Jobless claims rose – wait for it – unexpectedly. And get the excuse the administration is peddling:
The number of U.S. workers filing new applications for unemployment insurance unexpectedly rose last week as claims delayed from the year-end holidays were pushed through, government data showed on Thursday.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose 36,000 to a seasonally adjusted 482,000 in the week ended January 16, the Labor Department said, rising for a third straight week.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims dipping to 440,000 from a previously reported 444,000. The weekly claims data covers the survey week for the Labor Department’s January payrolls report, which is scheduled for release February 5.
A Labor Department official said the rise in claims was administrative rather than economic as claims that were not processed over the holidays were now being attended to.
So, it’s MLK’s fault. At least they didn’t blame Bush this time
Update: As the first commenter noted, the Labor Department Official’s comment referenced the Christmas holidays, not MLK holiday that just passed. So, it’s Jesus’ fault?
Ed Morrissey writes that it’s time for a different adverb to describe the month over month bad economic news. (link fixed)