Unemployment

6:52am

Thu April 11, 2013
The Two-Way

Jobless Claims Fell Sharply Last Week

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 9:52 am

Many Americans hope to see more signs like this in coming months. (Photo taken earlier this year in San Rafael, Calif.)
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

There were 346,000 first-time claims for unemployment benefits, down 42,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration reports.

Meanwhile, the "4-week moving average" of claims was 358,000, up by 3,000 from the previous week's 355,000. That measure smooths out some of the volatility in the numbers.

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6:56am

Sat April 6, 2013
Economy

Sequester Pinches Long-Term Unemployed Even More

Originally published on Sun April 7, 2013 9:08 am

A crowd of jobseekers attends a health care job fair on Thursday in New York.
Mark Lennihan AP

Almost 5 million Americans are considered long-term unemployed, meaning they have been searching for work for at least six months.

This week, their plight is getting a bit tougher as the government cuts their unemployment benefits — part of the automatic reductions in federal spending that took effect recently.

On a recent day, about 40 people turned out at a Manhattan jobs center run by the New York Labor Department to get advice on looking for work. These are all people who have been out of work for at least 27 weeks.

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6:36am

Fri April 5, 2013
The Two-Way

Job Growth Slows Sharply, But Unemployment Rate Dips

Originally published on Fri April 5, 2013 11:44 am

Li-Wen Hung (left) and Whitney Chen were waiting to meet potential employers at a Manhattan job fair earlier this year.
Mario Tama Getty Images
  • From 'Morning Edition': NPR's Yuki Noguchi talks with David Greene about the latest employment report

There were just 88,000 jobs added to private and public payrolls in March, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates.

But the nation's jobless rate still edged down to 7.6 percent from 7.7 percent. That dip wasn't for a good reason, though: Nearly half a million fewer people were participating in the labor force. That smaller pool meant the jobless rate could tick down even as job growth was weak.

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8:16am

Thu March 21, 2013
The Two-Way

Applications For Unemployment Benefits Tick Up; Monthly Average At 5-Year Low

There were 336,000 first-time claims for unemployment benefits last week, up 2,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration reports.

The big news here is that the 4-week moving average was 339,750, a drop from of 7,5000 from last week and the lowest level in 5 years.

Bloomberg reports:

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12:41pm

Tue March 12, 2013
Planet Money

4.2 Million Americans Were Hired In January (And 4.1 Million Quit Or Got Fired)

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 4:42 pm

Calculated Risk

One jobs number gets all the attention: The number of jobs lost or gained in the previous month.

That number is important. But focusing too much on the net change in jobs can be misleading. It gives the impression that a job is like a widget — it's something that gets made in a factory somewhere, and that we hope exists forever.

That's not how it works. Even in good economic times ,new jobs are constantly being created and old jobs are constantly being destroyed. (Of course, you do want the number of jobs created to exceed the number of jobs destroyed.)

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