The number of jobless claims reported last week was revised up to 385,000 from 382,000. This week economists were expecting 375,000 initial jobless claims but the number came in at 382,000. No doubt the media and the Obama administration will say that means jobless claims fell. They just better hurry up and say it before they make the next upward revision. But here’s something they can’t really spin, so they probably won’t mention it.
The average of new claims over the past month, meanwhile, rose by 2,000 to 377,750, the highest level since late June. The four-week average reduces seasonal volatility in the weekly data and is seen as a more accurate barometer of labor-market trends.
In related news, incomes fell or remained flat for most Americans last year.
The income of the typical U.S. family fell or was flat in almost every state last year, with the drop particularly steep in places where the economy has been hit hard by the housing bust.
The median annual household income—the point on the income scale at which half earn more and half earn less—fell in 18 states in 2011 from a year earlier after adjusting for inflation, according to a Census Bureau report to be released Thursday.
The sharpest drop occurred in Nevada, where median income fell by 6%. The median fell by 3.8% in California and by 2.9% in Arizona and Florida. Those four states are among those that have seen the biggest falls in home values and housing construction since the financial crisis, and where Americans are still struggling with the resulting heavy debt and high unemployment.
Nationally, the median income dropped by 1.3% to $50,502 in 2011. A separate report last week reported a slightly different median income level, but either way, the number is at a level last seen in the mid-1990s, continuing a long period of stagnant or falling wages since an all-time peak in 1999. (Read More)
The number of people living in poverty is the only thing that seems to be going up in this economy, well, besides the stock market bubble the Fed is inflating. In the Obama economy some of the rich get richer while most Americans become more poor.