Politics & Policy

Look Closer: Jobless Claims Remain Low

Don't be fooled by the spin.

By Jerry Bowyer

According to Economy.com, jobless claims under 350,000 a week indicate an expanding labor market. Last week, jobless claims were a miniscule 272,000, a full 74,000 less than the 10-year average. This week, they totaled just 283,000. But what headline did Reuters choose to announce this strikingly low level of claims? You guessed it: “Jobless claims rise.”

Step away from the spin and you’ll see that, in addition to jobless claims being low through all of 2005 (they’ve averaged 332,000 over the course of the year), they’ve been trending steadily downward through most of Bush’s term; and especially since Bush’s tax cut arrived in late May 2003. The only notable exceptions come in September 2001 and September 2005, months that are respectively known in relation to 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina.

Don’t be fooled by the spin: Jobless claims are low and the labor market is expanding.

– Jerry Bowyer is the author of The Bush Boom and an economic advisor to Independence Portfolio Partners. He can be reached through www.BowyerMedia.com.

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