If I told you that uunemployment filings had dropped to the lowest level in 45 years, what would you say?

Maybe some form of “great”?  Like, for example, “wow, that’s great”, or “the economy is really doing great”, or “Maybe Trump really is making America great again”?

Well, here’s how reported it, via the beginning paragraphs of Sho Chandra’s article there:

U.S. filings for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week to the lowest level since January 1973, further evidence that the labor market remains tight, Labor Department figures showed Thursday. 

Highlights of Jobless Claims (Week ended March 24)

  • Jobless claims decreased by 12k to 215k (est. 230k)
  • Continuing claims rose by 35k to 1.87m in week ended March 17 (data reported with one-week lag) 
  • Four-week average of initial claims, a less-volatile measure than the weekly figure, fell to 224,500 from the prior week’s 225,000

Key Takeaways

Claims at the lowest level in 45 years underscore a persistent shortage of qualified workers that has made employers reluctant to fire staff. Applications for jobless benefits below the 300,000 tally are typically considered consistent with a healthy labor market.

To summarize:

-Unexpected (ever notice how good news in the Trump era is so often framed as being “unexpected”?)

-It means there is a persistent shortage of workers (bad news – better let some more of those illegals in to fill the gaps);

-Employers can’t fire staff (bad news – if an employee is deficient the employer is stuck with that person anyway);

-Jobless benefits below 300,000 are typically considered consistent with a healthy labor market (not that 215,000 is a huge difference, not consistent with anything since it hasn’t happened since Nixon was President, and therefore a major accomplishment….just “consistent with a healthy labor market.”  Yawn).

The title of this blog is “Desperately Spinning Great Economic News”.  Anyone still wondering why?

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