Jobless Claims Hit 16 Year High

Unemployment benefits claims have jumped to a 16 year high.

With the number of new claims for U.S. jobless benefits hitting a 16-year high, some economists warn of further waves of layoffs in the months ahead.

Even already battered industries such as construction and manufacturing are expected to see more job cuts. Layoffs also are likely to spread to relatively unscathed areas such as retail, transportation and hotels and restaurants.

“I don’t think any of these sectors have reached the bottom,” said Carl Riccadonna, senior U.S. economist at Deutsche Bank.

The bad news just keeps coming in. The bad news for Citigroup, the high in jobless claims hmmm, and yes, the Dow went below 8,000 and seems to heading to go right below 7,000. But never fear, Henry Paulson and Ben Bernanke have a plan and $700 billion (that they borrowed taking even more mony off the credit markets…how that is supposed to help things I don’t know) to keep things from getting really bad.

The Labor Department said Thursday that new claims for jobless benefits rose last week to a seasonally adjusted 542,000 from a downwardly revised figure of 515,000 in the previous week, much higher than Wall Street economists expected.

That is also the highest level of claims since July 1992, the department said, when the U.S. economy was emerging from a recession. The four-week average of claims, which smooths out fluctuations, was even worse: It rose to 506,500, highest in more than 25 years.

I’m sure Barack Obama will get into office and get this mess straightened out right away. After all he is the President and President’s have such amazing power over the U.S. economy. Just ask George Herbert Walker Bush or Jimmy Carter.

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Steve Verdon
About Steve Verdon
Steve has a B.A. in Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles and attended graduate school at The George Washington University, leaving school shortly before staring work on his dissertation when his first child was born. He works in the energy industry and prior to that worked at the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the Division of Price Index and Number Research. He joined the staff at OTB in November 2004.


  1. sam says:

    Steve, you have a forum here. If you were president, what would you do?

  2. Dave Schuler says:

    sam, do you mean “if he were president” or “if he were king”?

  3. Triumph says:

    I’m sure Barack Obama will get into office and get this mess straightened out right away.

    Yeah, right! Hussein caused this whole mess–he sure as hell doesn’t have the experience to fix it.

    Given that his political patron is the corrupt dictator of Kenya, Adewale Ogunleye, and that the average wage in Ogunleye’s Kenya is 500 bucks a year, Hussein and his African allies are just going to bring us down to their level.

  4. sam says:

    Both, now that I think of it.

  5. Brett says:

    Ah, but keep in mind that a chunk (not a majority, but a large chunk) of that money is being lent to us by foreign lenders, meaning it is coming out of their credit markets (in China’s case, since most of the money they earn and then put into Treasury Bonds comes from exports, particularly to the US, that means we’re getting our money back).

    That’s probably why such a large amount of money disappearing into the ether hasn’t done bad things to the long-term bond interest rates yet.

  6. Steve Verdon says:

    Steve, you have a forum here. If you were president, what would you do?