Statistics for first-time jobless claims came out on Thursday and it was good news if you didn’t reside in the White House or work on Wall Street. Layoffs posted their smallest number since the 2007 recession began.
Hurray! Er, maybe not.
“The number of applications for unemployment insurance payments declined by 15,000 to 320,000 in the week ended Aug. 10,” reports BusinessWeek, “the fewest since October 2007, from a revised 335,000, a Labor Department report showed today in Washington. The median forecast of 44 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for 335,000. Another report showed manufacturing in the New York region expanded at a slower-than-expected pace in August.”
Notwithstanding the slow pace of manufacturing in New York, the unemployment report tends to show that business conditions have stabilized. One would expect that at this point in a recovery companies would be hiring.
But of course they are not.
The number of real, full-time jobs being created still remains a dog.
While layoffs are less common, the number of new jobs created has a lot in common with that little prize the neighbor’s dog left on your lawn-- both numerically and olfactorily.
The only explanation behind the dearth of job creation is that the health of the business community cannot overcome the distemper of the White House.
The biggest of the distempers of course is Obamacare. But Obamacare isn’t the only one.
Budgets, debt ceilings, tax policy are all up in the air. And they will likely stay that way until after the midterm elections in 2014.
As a result, the stock market sold off, in what’s been one of the most widely-anticipated corrections in recent memory. Instead of a Recovery Summer, we’ve had a Summer-of-waiting-for-the-market-to-digest-the-next-round-of-bad-news-disguised-as-good-news summer.
Now that the markets will have to rely on something like real economic value-- rather than non-stop money printing-- things aren’t looking quite rosy on the Street.
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