Unemployment applications increase

Job seekers form a line at the registration desk of a job fair in Linthicum, Md. Tuesday, May 24, 2011. More people applied for unemployment benefits last week, the first increase in three weeks and evidence that the job market is still sluggish. (AP Photo/Steve Ruark)

More people applied for unemployment benefits last week, the first increase in three weeks and evidence that the job market is still sluggish.

The number of people seeking benefits rose by 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 424,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. No states cited extreme weather as a factor in the increase, a department spokesman said. Tornadoes and floods have devastated several states in the Midwest and South in the past month.

Applications are above the 375,000 level that is consistent with sustainable job growth. Applications peaked at 659,000 during the recession.

“The job market isn’t exactly improving with leaps and bounds,” Jennifer Lee, an economist at BMO Capital Markets, said in a note to clients. “Businesses are hiring but are likely holding back until they’re more comfortable and confident with the current economic environment.”

Still, the four week average, a less volatile measure, declined for the first time in seven weeks to 438,500.

Employers stepped up hiring this spring, but some economists worry that rising applications indicate hiring is slowing.

A separate report showed that the economy grew 1.8 percent in the January-March quarter, a slowdown from the 3.1 percent annual pace recorded in the October-December period. Consumer spending grew at a much slower pace, as shoppers were held back by high unemployment and $4 a gallon gas.

So far, the economy has been generating jobs at a healthy pace this year. Businesses have added a net total of more than 250,000 jobs per month, on average, in the past three months, the fastest hiring spree in five years. The unemployment rate has dropped nearly a full percentage point in the past five months, though it remains a very high 9 percent.

But several economists said that the number of jobs added in May will likely dip below 200,000 for the first time since January.

“We’re losing some momentum in employment,” said Brian Levitt, an economist at OppenheimerFunds. He expects companies will create about 150,000 to 175,000 jobs this month. Higher gas prices are acting as a tax on consumers, restraining their spending, he said.

Gas prices dipped to an average of $3.81 per gallon Thursday, down from $3.91 a week ago. But they are $1.04 higher than a year ago.

The total number of people receiving benefits is also falling. The unemployment benefit rolls declined 46,000 to 3.7 million in the week ending May 14. That figure lags the applications data by one week.

Roughly 4 million additional people are receiving benefits under emergency programs enacted during the recession. All told, 7.7 million people received unemployment benefits during the week ending May 7, the most recent data available. That’s a drop of almost 200,000 from the previous week.

Copyright © 2011 The Associated Press

4 Responses to "Unemployment applications increase"

  1. woody188  May 30, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    Unemployment rates dropped while unemployment applications increased. Yeah, our numbers are based on reality. Really, just believe us. Would we lie to you?

  2. Sandune  May 30, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    Unemployment benefits can be brought down only when jobs are made available for all levels of American skills. The Tea Party wants to limit the benefits to force those without jobs, to do something for themselves.

    I remember when my division at Hughes Aircraft began laying off jobs under the Falcon Missile Program. The word went out all over the Culver City division and many were lined up to use the skills we all had learned under the development and manufacturing of this war machine.

    We had two major designers and employment experts who had been anticipating this problem. They ended up developing TRW and many of the old Hughes designers were delighted to find new companies all over this part of California.

    I opened my book store 200 miles north of this area just as the wars of Vietnam added to the vets of the Korean conflict. I wondered if these brave men and women would start putting their new skills to work and picking up even more off the unemployment lines. I allowed many artists to show their pictures and sculptures in my store. I had young sad looking poets bringing me their poems written on anything they could find. I put them all on a list of their abilities and even bound them in small brochures to be given to my customers. My store was a minor division of POW and MIA groups who were trying to put these deadly wars in a final file.

    Today we have the unemployed American workers out of work thanks to the NAFTA treaties written by President Bush 41 who wanted his one world empire to be developed under his name. Perot stood up to it and managed to make many Americans aware of the consequences of handing other nations the money made on shipping to America as well as handling those products shipped elsewhere.

    Our corporations opened up their manufacturing off shore and our American workers headed for the unemployment lines. Our jobs were filled in with immigrants. Our women had to find jobs and turned their children over to cheap Mexican labor. I highly recommend these loving women who are wonderful with our children.

    Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann and Governor Sarah Palin want these benefits to stop. Every time one of them speaks on any subject it makes my skin crawl. Their knowledge of how America works with and for the people is so distorted that in better times would seem humorous.

    Both women are running on a concept that women and gays will never be accepted in their American culture. They want to fix this by redesigning our academics to include Jesus Christ in the subjects of all classes and text books. Both women have large families and I assume have given them all a background in religion. They will train their children to hate and destroy Islam. The result is another couple of generations of the same built-in hatred to be passed on over and over; like damaged genes.

    When our soldiers come home from the Middle East will they be able to use their newly developed skills and do what our men did when they returned from WW2? Will they get their bodies and minds back to normal? Can they ever locate “joy” in their lives again or did they ever locate it prior to the wars?

    I was impressed by a movie that came out several years ago with Nicholas Gage called “National Treasure” where a message was supposedly printed on the back of the Declaration of Independence.

    Many things will go wrong in the development of our new nation and it is up to anyone who understands the problem to get in and fix it.

    I can just imagine what this means to Bachmann and Palin. They have both stated that God no longer rules the nation and that must be corrected.

    • Carl Nemo  May 30, 2011 at 10:57 pm

      “I can just imagine what this means to Bachmann and Palin. They have both stated that God no longer rules the nation and that must be corrected.” …extract from post

      Solid thoughts Ms. Price (Sandune) along with an appropriate indictment against these two female whack jobs; ie., one already seated in Congress and another aspiring crimpol wannabe, Sarah Palin. When they speak, both their vocals and expressed ideas are like nails scratching on a chalkboard to my intellect. : |

      Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Paine et al. were all deists, not hit in the butt with a bible Christian fundamentalists. These mens’ basic beliefs centered around the philosophy that reason and observation of the natural world without the need for organized religions could determine if a supreme being created the universe.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deism

      *****

      “Christianity will never be part of common law” …Thomas Jefferson

      *****

      Carl Nemo **==

  3. bogofree  May 30, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    “They have both stated that God no longer rules the nation and that must be corrected.”

    God? She’s been out sourced and is collecting.

Comments are closed.