Thursday, May 5, 2011

Pointing to an unusual suspect for the increase in unemployment claims

Troubling unemployment figures this week - according to a widely quoted AP story, it looks like new unemployment applications have hit an 8-month high. This elevates fears that the "recovery" has hit a bump in the road, which could mean anemic hiring patterns this spring.

According to the story, New York is to blame - specifically, their schools:
"A Labor department spokesman blamed much of the increase in unemployment applications on an unexpected spike from New York. More school systems than usual closed for spring break last week. That resulted in 25,000 layoffs. The department didn't anticipate the closures when making seasonal adjustments, the spokesman said.

Huh? Schools closing for spring break resulted in 25K layoffs? The Labor department did not realize that spring break in NY would require seasonal adjustments? Is it a "layoff" when hourly workers stay home for the week of spring break?

Anyway, in this "recovery," a spike in unemployment claims is not good, no matter what the reason.

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