I struggle sometimes to keep coming up with fresh ways to describe what I see happening to the US economy. I try to stay on top of economics news and try to make some semblance of the conflicting reports presented, the PR spin and more spin.
Today’s (Thursday, April 21) Initial Unemployment Claims report for last week is out and once again, the economists have their rose colored glasses on:
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — First-time filings for unemployment claims declined in the most recent week, but were above the key 400,000 level for the second straight week, according to a government report issued Thursday.
There were 403,000 initial jobless claims filed in the week ended April 16, the Labor Department said Thursday. That was down 13,000 from the previous week’s revised 416,000.
Please note that the 416K from last week was an upward revision from the initial report of 412K.
Even more troubling to me is the report of on-going claims (from the same CNN article):
The 4-week moving average of continuing claims fell 17,500 to 3,716,750, down from a revised 3,734,250 in the previous week.
The official Unemployment rate of 8.8% generally equates to 14M to 15M people. Think of how many millions are no longer collecting any unemployment compensation at all yet are still considered active members of the work force, trying desperately to find employment.
I found this at Slate the other day with a map of the nationwide unemployment from January 2008 through February 2011. (The scrolling through the months is a bit sluggish – I set it for a 1 second interval and auto-play). David Dayen at FDL News posted Tuesday about the Corporations shipping millions of jobs out of the US. While the jobs are shipped out, we see the AFL-CIO high-lighting the disparity between the CEO compensation and the average workers:
WASHINGTON (CNNMoney) — In 2010, chief executives at some of the nation’s largest companies earned an average of $11.4 million in total pay — 343 times more than a typical American worker, according to the AFL-CIO.
“Despite the collapse of the financial market at the hands of executives less than 3 years ago, the disparity between CEO and workers’ pay has continued to grow to levels that are simply stunning,” said Richard Trumka, AFL-CIO president.