USA: Unemployment Down

The new unemployment claimant figures are just out today and were issued by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics a few moments ago. If anything is going to help us gauge the feel of the market and the (un?)economic climate at the present time, then it’s going to be those figures. The number of US citizens filing for unemployment benefit for the first time means that things are getting better or we’re taking another nose-dive. Place your bets, ladies and gentlemen, please! Doesn’t take too much to actually look into a crystal ball and make a prediction, does, it? But, we all stand with bated breath, to see if just by some small chance we are getting things right.

Last week (May 11th) there was a peak of 32, 000 new claims being made taking the US to 360, 000 new unemployed claims being filed, which is the biggest increase since March. Employment rose last month (April) by 165, 000, but the unemployment rate issued by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics remained stable at a total figure of 7.5%. The number of unemployed people stood at 11.7 million people, although total unemployment has dropped since January by 673, 000. Employment sectors that saw gains last month were business-services sectors, food and drink services and health care sectors. Long-term unemployed (out of work for more than 27 weeks) was down by more than a quarter of a million (258, 000) to 4.4 million (37.4% of total unemployed). All groups remained stable except for women that saw a decline in their unemployment rate last month (6.7%). So, last week figures? How do they stand up in comparison to the previous week and last April?

The Bureau announce a few seconds ago (8.30 ET this morning) the state of affairs regarding applications to file for unemployment. There has been a drop of 23, 000 in comparison with the previous week. That will bring the figure of total new claimants down to 340, 000. But, it’s not really the weekly figure that bothers us, it’s the monthly average that counts. The last time figures for the month were quoted two weeks ago the total figure was up 1, 250. Some say that this is just a slight dip, and that it won’t hold out. Figures won’t be maintaining that drop and it’s just this past week that saw the drop. We might be led to believe that the economy is improving, but tax increases could put an end to that and spending cuts are still in the pipeline in the US. At least the result is better than some might have expected and the Dollar immediately rose against the Euro (trading at around 1.29 EUR/USD).

People in work means fewer strains on unemployment benefits of a country and that means good news for investors in the market. Investors in the country means money in the economy. Money in the economy means more money and it goes round in circles. Economics is so easy…isn’t it?

But, just in case, as a last resort: positive thinking, people! Positive thinking can certainly help us through the worst. There was a Frenchman called Émile Coué that invented the art of autosuggestion way back in the 19th century. How does it work? The Coué Method relies on the constant repetition of a particular expression that induces a specific mental state of being and thus brings about a change in willpower and effectiveness. So, Mr. Obama, let’s all get together on the same day at the same time and all chant together: “Jobs, Jobs, Jobs”. If we say it loud enough and all together, maybe the Coué Method will become the new darling of modern economics.

If we say it enough, who knows? It may just come off! Well, that’s a long shot, but we can always live in hope. That’s about all we are being offered at the moment as a solution to the economic crisis. I’ll keep my fingers crossed at the same time then!

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