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You might have seen some headlines from yesterday on the weekly report of Initial Unemployment claims about those claims "falling sharply" (Reuters headline phrase):
Applications for unemployment benefits fell by 37,000 to a seasonally adjusted 391,000 in the week ending September 24 from an upwardly revised 428,000 the prior week, the Labor Department said on Thursday.My first prediction today is that the 391K figure first announced will be revised upwards when next week's report comes out. My second prediction is whatever good news that can be wrung from this report will have a limited overall effect.
CNN's report was a bit more circumspect with this:
The recent drop to 391,000 maked the lowest level since the week of April 2, when 385,000 new claims came in.Nice of CNN to point out that the unemployment figure does include those folks who persist in looking for jobs without finding them, even after they have exhausted all benefits.
Still, economists cautioned against getting too excited about the better number. It's just one week of data, and according to a government spokesman, seasonal adjustments could have impacted the calculation.
For the country overall, the unemployment rate is still at 9.1%...
Continuing claims -- which include people filing for the second week or more of benefits -- decreased by 20,000 to 3,729,000 in the week ended Sept. 17, the most recent data available.
That figure only includes people who are receiving benefits though, which typically run out after 99 weeks.
Including people who aren't currently receiving those benefits, about 14 million people remain unemployed in the United States.