More Americans than projected filed applications for unemployment benefits last week, a sign firings remain elevated even as the economy is expanding.As a Commercial Banker, I see no hiring within my client base. It's a hold your own status or a tightening of the belt. I actually had one client who had to layoff family. Until something fundamentally changes in the economy there will be no job growth of significance. Unfortunately, many of these jobs lost since 2007 are permanent. While one week's data does not a trend make, I wouldn't expect improvement in employment any time soon.
Initial jobless claims jumped by 37,000 to 464,000 in the week ended July 17, exceeding the highest estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. The survey median projected claims would climb to 445,000. The number of people receiving unemployment insurance and those getting extended payments dropped.
The figures underscore projections that a lack of jobs will restrain consumer spending, the biggest part of the economy, and lead to slower growth in the second half of the year. It will probably take a “significant amount of time” to restore the almost 8.5 million jobs lost in 2008 and 2009, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke told Congress yesterday.
“It’s going to be very slow progress in the labor market,” Brian Bethune, chief U.S. financial economist at IHS Global Insight in Lexington, Massachusetts, said before the report. “Businesses are being just too conservative in hiring. Sales are subdued so employers don’t want to get overextended.”
The four-week moving average, a less volatile measure than the weekly figures, climbed to 456,000 last week from 454,750, today’s report showed.
The unemployment rate among people eligible for benefits, which tends to track the jobless rate, fell to 3.5 percent in the week ended July 10 from 3.7 percent in the prior week.
Thirty-four states and territories reported an increase in claims, while 19 reported a decline. These data are reported with a one-week lag.
Slow to Recover
It may take years to recoup the loss of jobs during the recession that began in December 2007, economists said. The unemployment rate, which reached a 26-year high of 10.1 percent in October 2009, will end 2010 at 9.5 percent, the same as in June, according to this month’s Bloomberg survey.
Hope all is well.
J.D. Rosendahl, Rosey