Jobless claims lowest since 2008: Tricky Rick out

Update: In unrelated untimely celebration of the good news Rick Perry pulls out of the GOP nom race.

It’s over. It may not feel over, it sure as hell doesn’t seem over for a lot of people including me. But the Great Recession is over. I was pretty sure late last year when I saw the confirmation bump in the trend, but I’m as certain now as one can be about these things.

( — In the week ending January 14, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 352,000, a decrease of 50,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 402,000. The 4-week moving average was 379,000, a decrease of 3,500 from the previous week’s revised average of 382,500. The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.7 percent for the week ending January 7, a decrease of 0.2 percentage point from the prior week’s unrevised rate.

So we have a situation where the worst economy in 70 years began under a Republican President and the most conservative congress we’ve had in my life — after they ruled for years with the gale of 9-11 at their backs — now we have an economy that is recovering under a centrist Democratic liberal and a bipartisan Congress, and most of the recovery ledge was passed two or more years ago by a democratically controlled Congress. It’s a lead-pipe cinch.

Republican policies, at least as they exist now, suck. They do not work. Deregulation of financial industries causes economic cluster-fucks. Tax cuts for the super rich and corporations increases the deficit leaving us unable to properly react with fiscal stimulus and middle-class support during the time of greatest need. Those give-aways do not trickle down, they only create powerful centers of influence dedicated to procuring more give-aways to the wealthy and providing more outs when the wealthy fuck up. Wars on the national credit card bequeath debt, death and misery for the nation’s best and brightest and exacerbate attempts to crawl out of the economic pit. 

This is not speculation, these are facts of recent history. What’s the saying about people who do the same thing over and over again and expect different results?


  1. Konradius says

    Trickle down economics is and has always been bunk. There’s only one type of trickle economy and that’s trickle up. If the average people have something to spend, then you get a trickle up of prosperity.

  2. Trebuchet says

    Expect the right (and Faux News) to be claiming Obama is faking the employment numbers any minute now.

    Perry pulling out is a little disappointing to me, for three reasons:
    1. He provides some comic relief.
    2. He serves to remind the public how insane the Republican field is.
    3. Ummm, I forget. Oops.

  3. raymoscow says

    Obviously lower umemployment is welcome news, but how/why do you declare ‘it’s over’?

    We still have a long way to go to get employment percentages where they were before the current crisis.

  4. says

    A recession is defined as 6 months of neagtive growth. A depression is 6 quarters of same. What we had was a near depression, but that much seems to be over. Growth is positive. Those numbers can be played with to be sure, but this data combined with last year’s data convinces me we are recovering and the odds of a double dip are remote (BTW, in every recession I’ve tracked, the double dip boogy man came up and was discussed at length, and was never realized).

    Part of that call is intuition informed by past experience and data. When I was a financial analyst judging the end of an event was crucial and you better at it. I have that sort of feeling about this now. I could be wrong, no doubt, but it looks pretty solid to me.

  5. arakasi says

    I’ve been saying for years that any lasting economic improvement would have to be structural, and that takes years to complete. I can present something from my own family as an example:

    My brother & sister-in-law are classified as working poor. She has done retail/secretarial work all her life, and he has gone through a succession of menial jobs interspersed with long periods of unemployment. They are both smart people, but a combination of bad choices 20 years ago and a lack of opportunities has kept them where they are.

    Part of the TARP funding went towards educational grants, and my SiL managed to get a full scholarship for a degree in accounting. She’ll be finishing up this spring. If she can convert her degree to a job in her field, then she will make the jump into the professional middle class & everyone benefits (and since she will be making enough money to pay income tax, then the govt will make back its investment over the next couple of years).

    This is how real economic progress happens, but it is slow. The investment from 2-3 years ago will not start paying off until this year. And in a political environment where a year is an eternity, there is no political will to invest in Americans for the long term

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