In the Bloomberg News article, “Jobless Claims in U.S. Climbed Less Than Forecast Last Week,” author Shobhana Chandra notes that
Jobless claims climbed by 8,000 to 365,000 in the week ended July 28, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. The median forecast of 47 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for an increase to 370,000.
I would have to say that, from that forecast, it would seem that things are getting better, but one must also factor in all the unemployed folks who have used up their traditional amount of unemployment benefits as per their state (check out this cool map of your state’s maximum total unemployment coverage). Those folks, unless they qualify for extended benefits, are out of luck–and they no longer count on most analysts’ figures.
But, they still count in the real world. Many of us know friends and family who are unemployed. Either way, we are all Americans, and these figures should somehow include those who have run out of benefits time and still find themselves unemployed. The only time you see these figures is when some politician is trying to use them, in some skewed way, to make their opponent look responsible.