In case you were hiding in your bunker today waiting for President Obama’s jobs speech you might have missed today’s jobs report which continues to be negative. It measures new claims for unemployment insurance:
Jobless claims continue to hold steady, up 2,000 to 414,000 in the September 3 week (prior week revised 3,000 higher to 412,000). The latest gain and the prior revision are however going in the wrong direction, lifting the four-week average 3,750 to 414,750 which is nearly 9,000 above the month-ago comparison. The Labor Department said Hurricane Irene did not affect the data though it does expect a small 2,000 to 5,000 upward revision for the September 3 week. Four states had to be estimated due to Labor Day.
Continuing claims fell 30,000 to 3.717 million in data for the August 27 week with the four-week average up 6,000 to 3.735 million. The unemployment rate for insured workers, which has been edging back and forth between 3.0 and 2.9 percent since February, is at 3.0 percent for the fourth straight week.
As you can see from this chart, the rate has been rather steady at around 400,000+ since last February:
This will give the President’s speech extra meaning.