Thursday, September 23, 2010

Unemployment Claims Rise: Count Me In

New unemployment claims rose by 12,000 last week to a staggering total of 465,000—and hello, my post-Census Bureau claim was among them.

When Billboard fired a number of us veteran writers/editors in March 2009, I filed for unemployment benes—which, with an extension, endured for a year. My claim ran out just as I snagged the Census gig in February 2010, which, thankfully, provided me enough income to file this new claim Aug. 30. I found out today that my bid for benefits for the next 26 weeks has been approved. I can eat and pay for health insurance, after all.

Meanwhile, AP reports that the rise in unemployment claims "suggests that jobs remain scarce and companies are still cutting workers. Initial claims have been stuck above 450,000 for most of this year."

Dan Greenhaus, chief economic strategist at Miller Tabak, offers, "What's becoming increasing clear is that this isn't a normal recovery. There's little we can do to create jobs until demand returns, and demand isn't returning."

Well, duh: Economists swear the recession has ended, but the statistics certainly suggest otherwise: "Businesses added a net total of only 67,000 jobs in August. The economy needs to generate a net total of almost 300,000 jobs a month to reduce the unemployment rate to 8% over the next two years, according to an estimate by the Labor Department."

I need a drink...