November 19, 2009

Let's see: No new jobs, benefit extensions screwed up and Christmas is coming. You'd think the administration and Congress would be doing something about this, but you'd have better luck asking Underdog:

Nov. 19 (Bloomberg) -- The number of Americans filing claims for unemployment benefits held at a 10-month low last week, a sign firings are letting up as the economy recovers.

Initial jobless claims were unchanged at 505,000 in the week ended Nov. 14, in line with the median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. The number of people collecting unemployment insurance dropped in the prior week, while those getting extended payments jumped.

The loss of 7.3 million jobs since the recession began in December 2007, the biggest drop of any postwar economic slump, makes an acceleration in firings less likely as consumers begin to spend. A rebound in hiring may take longer to develop as companies have ample room to boost hours for current employees before taking on additional staff.

“The labor market is improving, but at a glacial pace,” said Tom Porcelli, a senior economist at RBC Capital Markets in New York, who had forecast claims would fall to 503,000. “People are having a hard time finding a job as companies remain wary of the economic recovery. We expect it will be a jobless recovery.”

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