Archive for unemployment

Weekly jobless claims fall, federal deficit narrows, retail sales better-than-expected #BlameObama


jobless claims unemployment down

Jobless claims fell? What? Did anyone tell the Republicans? Why yes, yes someone did. Fox Business did! As you can see by this email alert that magically appeared in my inbox, Fox Biz is letting everyone know, even the GOP, that jobless claims fell just when Wall Street expected the opposite to happen. Damn you, Fox Biz! Just when we crazy lefties were having field day after field day mocking Fox in general, you have to go and ruin everything with some upbeat economic news!

but wait there's more smaller

But that's not all, nosireeBob! Defying the usual Debbie Downer expectations, retail sales went up! Up, I say! Or rather, Fox Biz say. Or rather, the Commerce Department say. What's a poor conservative to do? Other than wish for a lousier economy, that is, because if they don't have bad news to report, they can't-- say it with me now-- Blame Obama:

The number of Americans filing for first-time unemployment benefits fell last week to 315,000 from an upwardly revised 324,000 the week prior. Wall Street was looking for claims to rise to 330,000 from an initially reported 323,000.

The Commerce Department reports retail sales rose 0.3% in February, slightly higher than the 0.2% pick-up economists expected. Excluding the auto segment, sales rose 0.3%, verses expectations of a 0.2% gain.

But wait! There's even more! And again, from Fox Biz, this just in! Literally:

BREAKING NEWS: February Budget Deficit Narrows

The U.S. federal government posted a budget deficit of $193.5 billion in February, down from $203.5 billion in the same month last year. For fiscal 2014, the deficit is running at $377.4 billion, also less than the $494 billion deficit from the same period in fiscal 2013.

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Bikini Graph time! Job creation beat economists' predictions. #BlameObama


bikini itsy bitsy bikini graph job creation

It’s job creation time, which means it's time to bring back the Bikini Graph! As always, red columns point to monthly job totals under the Bush administration, while blue columns point to job totals under the Obama administration. This comes to us from the Maddow Blog, courtesy of the wonderful Steve Benen:

bikini graph Feb 2014 overall

bikini graph Feb 2014 private sectorSteve Benen:

Today’s announcement was a more pleasant reversal – job creation exceeded modest expectations.

The new report from Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the U.S. economy added 175,000 jobs in February, beating economists’ predictions. The unemployment rate inched higher to 6.7%, though as we’ve discussed many times, that’s not the metric to watch.

This time around, the unemployment rate ticked up because more people were out there looking for work, a healthy sign. Another nugget of good economic news: The public sector added an unusually high 13,000 jobs.

You may recall that the GOP have been doing all they can to eliminate public sector jobs (aka *gasp!* government jobs held by teachers, postal workers, firefighters, police officers, public transit workers, etc.). Why? Well, for one thing, a lot of those jobs are held by union members, and union members tend to vote for Democrats. For another thing, they want to minimize those jobs because, well... government. Duh.

But there's one thing they can't eliminate, no matter how hard they try: Facts.

[O]ver the last 12 months, the U.S. economy has added over 2.15 million jobs overall and 2.19 million in the private sector. What’s more, February was the 48th consecutive month in which we’ve seen private-sector job growth.

And we all know what that means, right?

blame Obama 2For more analysis by Benen, follow the link.

Our own David Garber's take on the jobs report can be found here.


More Jobs Than Expected In Today's Jobs Report




The U.S. economy added a solid 175,000 jobs in February, despite harsh winter weather that many analysts expected would curtail hiring, according to government data released Friday morning.

The report from the Labor Department showed the job market has steadily improved since hiring plunged at the end of last year. On Friday, the government actually increased its estimate for job creation in December and January.

So once again, despite all the Republicans spiteful and political efforts to stifle the Obama economy's recovery, they couldn't. Okay, these numbers, these gains, are modest and nowhere near where they could be. But can you imagine if the Republicans would pass the Obama jobs bill and the extended unemployment benefits bill how much more we could have grown?

Instead of making appearances at the CPAC conference with rifles and Looney Tunes rhetoric, maybe these elected officials would have time to pass some meaningful legislation.

On the downside, unemployment did go up a tick: 0.1% to 6.7%. That's not terrible considering the storms that attacked the midwest and south. But this uptick didn't have to be if the GOP would do their job -- and stop voting on repeals of Obamacare (we just had the 50th vote) and look to real matters. When will the Republicans come into the 21st century and not settle for living back in the 20th?


Elizabeth Warren obliterates Republicans for blocking unemployment benefits



Note: This is a crosspost from our wonderful friend Anomaly at FreakOutNation

On Monday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) took to the Senate floor and blasted Republican lawmakers for blocking an extension of federal unemployment insurance. Those benefits would have helped 1.6 million Americans. When Romney/Ryan ran for the 2012 ticket, they vowed to stand up for the middle class. Republicans have continued with this mantra without backing it up with votes.


She said, “Unemployment insurance is a critical lifeline for people who are trying their hardest and need a little help—a recognition that Wall Street and Washington caused the financial crisis, but Main Street is still paying the price.”

Warren continued, “Republicans line up to protect billions in tax breaks and subsidies for big corporations with armies of lobbyists but they can’t find a way to help struggling families trying get back on their feet.”

Watch. This is one of Warren’s best speeches yet (I say that each time):


Weekly Jobless Claims Fall to 330,000 #BlameObama


chris christie bridge

I'm sorry to bring you upbeat news in the midst of all the scandalous Chris Christie kerfuffle-itude and his bobs, weaves, and lies during the mainstream media softball fest, but I can't help myself.

You see, Fox Biz keeps sending me positive news alerts about our economic recovery, and I feel obligated to share it. Especially because we all know how reliable Fox is and how we look forward to their every report and hang on their every word.

So here you go, a ray of sunshine whether you like it or not. Jobless claims have dropped:

The number of Americans filing for first-time unemployment benefits fell last week to 330,000 from an upwardly revised 345,000 the week prior. Wall Street expected the number of claims to fall to 335,000 from an initially reported 339,000.

Again, my sincere apologies for disrupting the Christie "I'm Heartbroken and Shocked! Shocked!" tour.

Addendum: Why hasn't Christie blamed President Obama yet?

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Destruction Of GOP Talking Points In Real Time


Nikpour, Boykin

Maybe it's because I'm fighting (and barely holding my own) with the flu, but a day in bed with just the TV to keep me warm when I'm chilled and cooled down when I've feverish, did I get a chance to see two unarmed Republican spokespeople hung out to dry yesterday on Jansing and Company. I write and produce television series for a living. I'm pretty sure when I've hit gold. First it was Tennessee Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, now it's leading Republican strategist, Noelle Nikpour. In both cases, 24 carat gold.

So what I'm about to share with you is a dollop of love. Here's Democratic strategist Keith Boykin totally destroying Noelle Nikpour. This is a totally dismantlement of the Republican arguments that they're not at war with the poor and middle class.

Now just before you watch this, keep in mind the estimated cost of the three month extension of long term unemployment benefits is just under $26B according to Fox Business news. And in case you forgot, the estimated cost of the government shutdown last year was... $26B. I haven't seen the Republicans looking for any offsets to cover their shutdown.  And we got nothing back for that. Here we're going to see $26B put back into the economy -- saving and perhaps even increasing jobs. What's wrong with this picture?

If you think the Republican plan isn't to harm middle and lower class, hold onto your hats and watch this. When you take in this clip, you'll see all the other programs of spending of the GOP's which had no "off-sets."

Enjoy seeing destruction of the GOP's talking points in real time.


Bonus Cartoons of the Day- Happy Holidays from the 113th Congress



Mike Luckovich

Clay Bennett editorial cartoon

John Cole


Jimmy Margulies