Thursday, March 20, 2008

Jobless Claims Up 22,000!

The number of US workers applying for unemployment benefits climbed 22,000 last week to 378,000, government data showed on Thursday, but part of the larger-than-expected increase may have been due to layoffs caused by an auto industry strike.

The four-week moving average of initial claims, which gives a better underlying signal on the state of the labor market, rose to 365,250, the highest level since October 2005 in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Oh Oh. If unemployment increases then look out below. We've been saying this for a long time. Even with a strong labor market, housing will continue to decline. But with unemployment rising, it may get much worse.

So now I don't think there are any economists claiming we are not in a recession (if there are, then I don't consider them an economist). Now, the argument is whether it's going to be a long recession or short recession.

For the first time, I heard an analyst on Bloomberg radio talking about a Soft Depression. Let's just hope for the best because this is getting scary.

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