View Full Version : 9.9% "official" Unemployment

20th May 2010, 07:56 AM
Jobless Claims Increase


In a troubling sign for the U.S. labor market, the number of workers filing new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly surged last week to wipe out most of the recent declines.

Separately, sharply lower building permits caused the index of leading economic indicators to fall in April for the first time since March 2009.

The Labor Department said in its weekly report Thursday that initial claims for jobless benefits rose by 25,000 to 471,000 in the week ended May 15. Economists who were surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires had predicted claims would fall by 4,000.

The previous week's level was revised upward as well, to 446,000 from 444,000.

The Labor Department's report on Thursday showed that the four-week moving average, which aims to smooth volatility in the data to help paint a better picture of the underlying trend, increased for the week ended May 15. The four-week moving average went up by 3,000 to 453,500 from the previous week's unrevised average of 450,500.

Total claims lasting more than one week, meanwhile, fell.

A Labor Department economist said on Thursday that this latest report is complete and no state data was estimated. Unlike the spikes in claims that occurred in early April due to seasonal and holiday factors, the economist said this time there's no indication that the increase is related to administrative factors. The spike in claims last week reversed most of the declines since April 10, when claims were at 480,000.

Claims have been among the most stubborn of all U.S. economic indicators, suggesting the job market will take a long time to recover. Although a recent Labor Department report showed that the U.S. economy created 290,000 jobs in the month of April, it also revealed that unemployment had risen to 9.9% as more workers decided to resume their job searches.

Linky (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703559004575256112299027150.html?m od=WSJ_hps_LEFTWhatsNews)

20th May 2010, 08:01 AM
May 20 (Bloomberg) -- The index of U.S. leading economic indicators unexpectedly declined in April, a sign the economic expansion may slow in the second half of the year.

The 0.1 percent decrease in the New York-based Conference Board’s measure of the outlook for three to six months followed a revised 1.3 percent gain in March. It was the first decline for the index in a year.

The initial factory-induced rebound from the worst recession since the 1930s, which is broadening to include advances in consumer spending and service industries, still faces hurdles. A slump in building permits, little letup in firings and retreating stock prices highlight risks to the strength of the recovery as concern over the European debt crisis mounts.

“The pace of recovery is starting to wane,” Tim Quinlan, an economist at Wells Fargo Securities LLC in Charlotte, North Carolina, said before the report. “I don’t see help coming from housing and I don’t see help coming from employment.”



20th May 2010, 08:03 AM
NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- The U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation said on Thursday that the banks and thrifts it insures earned $18 billion in the first quarter, well above the $5.6 billion they earned a year ago, and the highest profit since the first quarter of 2008.

"First-quarter results for insured commercial banks and savings institutions contained positive signs of recovery for the industry. While new accounting rules had a major effect on several components of the industry's balance sheet and income statement, there was clear improvement in certain performance indicators," the agency said in its Quarterly Banking Profile.