Under 300k again. The overall trend seems positive.

Jobless claims decreased by 36,000 to 280,000 in the period ended Sept. 13, the Labor Department said today in Washington.

(snip)

The four-week average of initial claims, a less-volatile measure than the weekly figure, decreased to 299,500 from 304,250 the week before.

The number of people continuing to receive jobless benefits dropped by 63,000 to 2.43 million in the week ended Sept. 6, the lowest since May 2007.

In related news, if Bloomberg’s “experts” offer to help you pick today’s trifecta, run away.

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Tom Tomorrow:  Contrasting right-wing hysteria about ISIS with right-wing denial of climate change.


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11 September 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Political Economy

Not good, not terrible.

Jobless claims climbed by 11,000 to 315,000 in the week ended Sept. 6, which included the Labor Day holiday, a Labor Department report showed today in Washington.

(snip)

The number of people continuing to receive jobless benefits rose by 9,000 to 2.49 million in the week ended Aug. 30.

In that same period, the unemployment rate among people eligible for benefits held at 1.9 percent, the report showed.

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Watch the Republican defend starvation wages.

Billy Mays would have been proud.

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04 September 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Political Economy

No change for all practical purposes:

Jobless claims rose by 4,000 to 302,000 in the week ended Aug. 30, a Labor Department showed in Washington.

(snip)

The number of people continuing to receive jobless benefits dropped by 64,000 to 2.46 million in the week ended Aug. 23, the fewest since June 2007. The unemployment rate among people eligible for benefits held at 1.9 percent during that period, today’s report showed.

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03 September 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Political Economy

Leonard Pitts, Jr., considers whether Republican economic theory is a spell or a curse. A nugget:

But the starkness and sheer preponderance of the numbers are hard to ignore. As of 2010, according to the Census Bureau, Connecticut, which has not awarded its electoral votes to a Republican presidential candidate since 1988, had a per capita income of $56,000, best in the country, while Mississippi, which hasn’t gone Democrat since 1976, came in at under $32,000 – worst in the country. At the very least, stats like these should call into question GOP claims of superior economic policy.

Yet, every election season the party nevertheless makes those claims. It will surely do so again this fall. So it seems fair to ask: Where are the numbers that support the assertion? Why is Texas only middling in terms of per capita income? Why is Mississippi not a roaring engine of economic growth? How are liberal Connecticut and Massachusetts doing so well?

Read the rest.

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31 August 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Political Economy

Cartoon lampooning bromide that government must be managed like family spending.


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Via Job’s Anger.

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28 August 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Political Economy

Status quo ante.

Claims decreased by 1,000 to 298,000 in the week ended Aug. 23 from 299,000 in the prior period, a Labor Department report showed today in Washington.

(snip)

The four-week average of claims, a less-volatile measure than the weekly figure, declined to 299,750 from 301,000 the week before.

The number of people continuing to receive jobless benefits climbed by 25,000 to 2.53 million in the week ended Aug. 16.

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24 August 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Political Economy

Frank Carabino has a few thoughts about drug cartels.

Not, not those drug cartels–the other drug cartels, the ones that profit from warring on drugs. A snippet (much more at the link):

It’s not surprising that both the Florida Sheriff’s Association and the Florida Medical Association oppose legalizing medicinal marijuana.

Expanding public access to legal marijuana is bad for business.

Locking people up for minor drug offenses and maintaining a monopoly on the bountiful pain-relief industry are two aspects of the status quo that law enforcement and physician groups have an interest in maintaining.

His point regarding law enforcement is obvious. Warring on drugs has been been a prime source of funding and power for police agencies; it’s also brought them lots of cool toys (as we have recently seen displayed in Ferguson) and property. In addition, it enables them to feed the prison industrial complex with thousands of new captives every year.

We are not normally so willing to view the actions of medical associations so cynically, but do not confuse your kindly family practitioner with his or her professional association. Remember that the AMA coined the term “socialized medicine” over half a century ago in its campaign against President Truman’s effort to improve Americans’ access to health care for fear it might cut into its members’ wealth. You don’t get much more cartel-ly than that.

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21 August 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Political Economy

Back under 300K.

Jobless claims fell by 14,000 to 298,000 in the week ended Aug. 16, a Labor Department report showed today in Washington.

(snip)

The monthly average of claims, a less volatile measure than the weekly figures, rose to 300,750 last week from 296,000.

The number of people on jobless benefit rolls declined by 49,000 to 2.5 million in the week ended Aug. 9. It’s at the lowest level since June 2007, before the last recession began.

In other news, Bloomberg’s “experts” were wrong again.

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15 August 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Political Economy

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14 August 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Political Economy

Back over 300K.

Jobless claims climbed by 21,000 to 311,000 in the period ended Aug. 9, the highest in six weeks, a Labor Department report showed today in Washington.

(snip)

The four-week average of claims, a less-volatile measure than the weekly figure, increased to 295,750 from 293,750 in the prior week that was the lowest since 2006. Last week’s average is still well below the 318,700 mean so far this year.

Bloomberg’s “experts” were, predictably, wrong again. I don’t know why they even bother . . . .

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09 August 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Political Economy

. . . casts an evil spell in Kansas.

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09 August 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Political Economy

Take the quiz.

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09 August 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Political Economy

“Logic,” said St. RandPaul, “is like a circle.”

Rand Paul:

Via Bob Cesca’s Awesome Blog.

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07 August 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Political Economy

Better–back under 300K.

Jobless claims decreased by 14,000 to 289,000 in the week ended Aug. 2 from 303,000 in the prior period, a Labor Department report showed today in Washington.

(snip)

The four-week average, a less-volatile measure than the weekly figure, dropped to 293,500, the lowest since February 2006, from 297,500 the week before.

In one reassuring development, Bloomberg’s “experts” are back into their rhythm. The predicted an increase.

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Chart showing that the deeply-Republican US South is the poorest part of the country


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31 July 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Political Economy

Looking up a bit. (The most surprising part of this is in bold.)

Fewer Americans filed applications for unemployment insurance benefits over the past month than at any time in more than eight years, signaling employers are hanging on to workers as demand improves.

The four-week average of jobless claims, considered a less volatile measure than the weekly figure, dropped to 297,250, the lowest since April 2006, from 300,750 the prior week. Claims in the period ended July 26 climbed to 302,000, in line with the median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg, from a revised 279,000 the prior week that was the lowest since 2000.

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24 July 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Political Economy

Under 300k.

Jobless claims fell by 19,000 to 284,000 in the week ended July 19, the fewest since February 2006 and lower than any economist surveyed by Bloomberg forecast, a Labor Department report showed today in Washington.

(snip)

The four-week average of jobless claims, considered a less volatile measure than the weekly figure, decreased to 302,000, the lowest since May 2007, from 309,250 in the prior week.

The number of people continuing to receive jobless benefits declined by 8,000 to 2.5 million in the week ended July 12, the fewest since June 2007. The unemployment rate among people eligible for benefits held at 1.9 percent, today’s report showed. These data are reported with a one-week lag.

None of Bloomberg’s “experts” were even close. I don’t know why they even bother.

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23 July 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Political Economy

Teddy Roosevelt in 1913 said,

Via Job’s Anger.

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