Thursday, June 21, 2007

Jobless Claims Hit Two-Month High

The number of U.S. workers filing new claims for jobless benefits rose to a two-month high last week, suggesting the pace of job growth is slowing after robust gains in May.
Jobless claims were up 10,000 to 324,000 on a seasonally-adjusted basis in the week ended June 16, the Labor Department said Thursday. That third-straight increase pushed claims to their highest level since April 21. Claims for the June 9 week were revised to 314,000 from 311,000. The four-week average -- which economists use to gauge underlying labor market trends -- rose by 2,500 to 314,500.

The latest data topped Wall Street expectations. The median estimate of 17 economists polled by Dow Jones Newswires was for no change in new claims. There were no special factors affecting the figures, a Labor Department analyst said.

Are we seeing the start of the economic downturn that I have been predicting? I still believe that the U.S. economy will either slip into recession or grow at an anemic pace late this year and into 2008. This will create the perfect storm against the Republican party heading into the Presidential election.

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