This morning, the Department of Labor announced that 473,000 people filed for unemployment benefits in the week ended August 21. That’s 31,000 fewer poor laid-off saps than in the prior week, and a lower number of claims than Wall Street Analysts had been expecting. Hooray?
Not exactly, since economists tend to think a “good” rate of weekly initial claims is somewhere between 400,000 and 450,000. On the other hand, almost everyone agrees that 473,000 welfare slobs is better than last week’s half a million, a nine-month high.
Sort of. The Labor Department’s count of people who continued to file for government assistance came in at 4.46 million, 62,000 less than a revised figure for the previous week and below analyst expectations of around 4.5 million.