Via Digby. Wall Street is thrilled that so many people are still unemployed!
The number of newly laid-off workers requesting jobless benefits fell slightly last week for the third straight time. But initial claims remain above levels that would signal net job gains.
New claims for unemployment aid fell 5,000 to a seasonally adjusted 457,000, the Labor Department said. That nearly matched analysts’ estimates of 455,000, according to Thomson Reuters.
The four-week average of jobless claims, which smooths out volatility, dropped to 471,250. Still, the average has risen by 30,000 since the start of this year. That’s raised concerns among economists that persistent unemployment could weaken the recovery.
The average number of weekly jobless claims remains above the 400,000-to-425,000 level that many economists say it must fall below before widespread new hiring is likely.