Good news on jobless claims

Fewer Americans sought unemployment benefits in early February. But the long-term picture is still grim

Published February 11, 2010 1:59PM (EST)

Seasonally adjusted jobless claims in the U.S. for the week ending Feb 6 fell by a robust 43,000, down to 440,000, reversing an upward trend that persisted through the month of January. The drop was enough to bring the four-week moving average down as well, by 1000 claims, to 469,500.

The news came shortly after the White House released a forecast predicting that job growth would average 95,000 jobs a month in 2010. But as Paul Krugman, I am sure, will be quick to remind us, the economy needs to create at least 125,000 new jobs a month just to keep up with population growth. So what the administration is saying, in essence, is that the jobs picture will continue to be dismal up through and after the midterm elections.

By Andrew Leonard

Andrew Leonard is a staff writer at Salon. On Twitter, @koxinga21.

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