Jobless Benefit Claims Up 9,000 Last Week
Well, what do you know: More Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, adding to evidence that the job market is weakening. The Labor Department says applications rose by 9,000 to a seasonally adjusted 429,000. It was the second increase in three weeks and the biggest jump in a month. Applications have been above 400,000 for 11 straight weeks.
Employers added only 54,000 net new jobs in May, much slower than the average gain of 220,000 per month in the previous three months. The unemployment rate rose to 9.1 percent from 9 percent in April.
The economy needs to generate at least 125,000 jobs per month just to keep up with population growth. And at least twice that many jobs are needed to bring down the unemployment rate.
Fed officials said in a statement that they think the main causes of the economy’s slowdown, such as high gas prices and supply disruptions from Japan’s disasters, are temporary. Once those problems subside, Fed officials said the economy should rebound.
But, but, I thought the “stimulus” package would keep unemployment capped at 8%? Welcome to “Recovery Summer”, Part II.