A Quick Jobs Update: Number of Applicants For Unemployment Benefits Drops to 4 1/2-Year Low

October 11, 2012  |  

Weekly numbers show that the number of people making first-time unemployment claims dropped by 30,000 to a 4 1/2-year low of 339,000. The four week average was also down by 11,500 to 364,000.

Separately but related, The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Wall Street, the bastion of big bucks and executive-level positions, shed 1,200 jobs since the beginning of the year with further cuts predicted as the year comes to a close. The big financial institutions are also feeling the economic crunch and are looking to cut costs. Bonuses fell 14 percent last year, but a report finds that the average salary for “securities-industry employees” in New York last year was $362,950.

Last week, it was announced that the unemployment rate dropped to 7.8 percent, the lowest point since January 2009. That news was immediately met with ridiculous claims from the right that President Obama had cooked the numbers, a claim that the Romney campaign was quick to stay away from. Rather, says Nobel prize winning New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, these numbers all indicate that things are getting better for the long-term.

“The more important point is that unemployment has been on a sustained downward trend. Isn’t that just because people have given up looking for work, and hence no longer count as unemployed? Actually, no,” he writes in a column published today.

“Once you take the effects of an aging population into account, the numbers show a substantial improvement in the employment picture since the summer of 2011,” he continues. In fact, he says, the jobs situation would be better if Congress (and Republicans in particular) had passed President Obama’s American Jobs Act.

Moreover, a columnist writing for CNN says that Jack Welch, the former GE CEO who started the whole “jobs truther” nonsense with his tweet about the unemployment rate being doctored, “has no clue about jobs numbers.”

Of course, we still need more jobs. But on the bright side, it looks like they’re on the way.

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