403 Forbidden


nginx
403 Forbidden

403 Forbidden


nginx
Follow us:
403 Forbidden

403 Forbidden


nginx

Jon Talton

Analysis and commentary on economic news, trends and issues, with an emphasis on Seattle and the Northwest.

May 3, 2012 at 10:45 AM

Steady or slowing?

Today the government reported that initial claims for unemployment fell by an unexpectedly large 27,000 to 365,000. The trouble is, we don’t really know what this means. More discouraged workers may be dropping out of the labor force and some states are cutting back jobless benefits. Challenger, Gray & Christmas said that jobs cuts rose 7.1 percent last month 40,599, up 11.2 percent from last April. According to the Economic Policy Institute, the state jobs picture, while still mostly positive, indicates slowing. Also, continuing government job cuts are disproportionately hurting women and minorities.

The more interesting report came from the Institute for Supply Management, whose index of the vast service sector fell much more than expected, to 53.5 in April, down from 56 in March and the lowest since November. Bloomberg notes, “Expansion among service industries may be moderating after a surge in the first quarter that coincided with the strongest pace of job growth in six years.”

The political ramifications of even slower growth aren’t as important as the continued misery for millions of Americans.

Tomorrow, we’ll get the April unemployment report and it may be fairly bleak. But some smart economy watchers don’t trust the government data. So consume skeptically.

And Don’t Miss: What happens when oil becomes unaffordable? || The Globe & Mail

Today’s Econ Haiku:

Our China choices

Human rights or cheap iPads

And debt for our wars

Comments | More in China economy and business, Jobs/Unemployment, Lindsay Lohan, Oil prices, Politics and the economy, Recovery, Working America

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


403 Forbidden

403 Forbidden


nginx
403 Forbidden

403 Forbidden


nginx