Jobless Claims Reach 3 Month High

Jobless claims went up 19,000 to 479,000 at the end of last month, higher than expected, and the most since April. It signals that as the recovery sputters, employers are continuing to cut payrolls.

Jobless Claims in U.S. Unexpectedly Climb to Three-Month High [Bloomberg]

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  1. Elfa says:

    We need tariffs to compete with foreign manufacturing. Impose tariffs and bring back jobs.

    • dreamfish says:

      So you’re going to restrict imports but expect other countries to happily buy your exports at the same rate? Good luck.

      • Elfa says:

        “In 2008, the total U.S. trade deficit was $695.9 billion, which is $1.8 trillion in exports minus $2.5 trillion in imports” (USATODAY.com. July 10, 2009).

        Seems to me we stand to gain more than we’d lose.

      • Big Mama Pain says:

        Yeah, but one of our biggest exports is guns and the like. People want them way more than cheap durables. Besides, I think those two were referring to tariffs on US companies that set up overseas and then import their own goods back here.

      • dragonfire81 says:

        Actually the fatal flaw in this reasoning is that the imposing of tariffs would cause prices to GO UP, which is the last thing anyone wants in an economic recession.

        Corporations, both large and smaller, aren’t going to abandon their sweetheart deals with China, Taiwan, Indonesia, et. al. just because Uncle Sam dangles a little carrot their way.

        • Elfa says:

          IPods might cost $20-50 dollars more if they weren’t produced in Chinese suicide mills,
          but currently jobless Americans would be producing them.

          Perhaps then they would buy Ipods.

          %100 tariff on all non-regionally specific (i.e. champagne) imported products.

          • dragonfire81 says:

            It would be substantially more expensive than $20-$50 more.

            • fredbiscotti says:

              Yeah, yeah, yeah. Nobody can afford anything that isn’t made by children in Bangladesh.

              If that’s the case, why do sheets at Sears retail for $90 when they’re made in Turkmenistan (true story!)? Where’s the savings?

          • jurupa says:

            And how many jobless Americans know how to make an iPod? I think the answer is near 0. Most Americans have no manufacturing skills to speak off. Also if iPods where made by Americans the price will jump way more than $50. Try more like $100. As American labor in general is more expensive compare to other places, and if you get a union costs go up even more.

            • ChuckECheese says:

              If illiterate Chinese ex-dirt farmers can learn to make things, I’m sure Americans can too. This is not an issue of lack of knowledge or ability. It’s about finding the cheapest costs possible.

    • fredbiscotti says:

      Well, we need to find a way to level the playing field and bring manufacturing back to the United States. Tariffs against nations that dump cheaply made products on our shores are absolutely necessary. Simply cutting off trade, though, would be a disaster.

      Now, brace yourself for the tsunami of free trader drivel about how exporting manufacturing jobs so we can all be maids and nurses in a mercantile economy is the ONLY way to go. Sigh.

    • TuxthePenguin says:

      Imposing tariffs was one of the major reasons a blip in the ’29-31 turned into the Great Depression. History much?

      • Elfa says:

        Yeah, that and the dust bowl. Tell me another one.

      • SkuldChan says:

        One of the reasons – not the reason. Interestingly enough – look up current European tariffs – they are pretty high even today. Germany runs a protectionist economy

        Interestingly enough – one of the many reasons the Civil War started was because many northern industries had a hard time competing with products made in the south with little to no labor costs.

    • ARP says:

      This is a double post, but want it in the right place…

      We should have a flexible tariff based on the exporting country. We can evaluate exporting countries through a bunch of measures: Labor laws, Environmental laws, human rights, goverment subsidies, etc.

      Bascially, the closer you are to our own standards, the lower the tariff would be (or none at all). So countries with lax laws (or lax enforcement) would face a higher tariff to level the playing field.

    • jnads says:

      Since we’re a World Trade Organization member, every tariff we create can be met with a tariff against us by the offended nation.

      Kneejerk “impose tariff” reactions aren’t the smartest in this global economy. Much of the world finances our debt because we buy stuff from them (and pay interest). If we’re no longer buying stuff from them, nobody will finance our debt.

      The Great Depression would look comfy if that happened.

    • random123 says:

      or we could get rid of labor unions so that people are actually paid based on the value that they create and how easily replaced their contribution is….

      • Elfa says:

        According to the Bureau of Labor: “The union membership rate […] for private industry workers [is] 7.2
        percent” ( http://www.bls.gov/news.release/union2.nr0.htm ).

        So, if I understand your argument correctly, you propose that the few remaining industrial unions should be crushed, because then we could compete with 3rd world industry?

        Why stop there?
        Following your line of reasoning, we could raise our levels of exploitation to match or surpass theirs.
        Minimum wage could be lowered to a dollar a day, because if people aren’t doing important “brain” or “management” work, they don’t really merit a living salary, do they?

        Or, one could follow my line of reasoning:
        focus on the “need” for jobs rather than the “want” for greater profit margins. High enough tariffs would revive the dying, and formerly great, industrial sector in America.

    • rushevents says:

      Yeah – free enterprise – who needs it!

  2. c!tizen says:

    We didn’t lose any jobs, most of them were shipped off over seas because there is little to no incentive for large corporations to keep it local. Do away with the tax credits for outsourcing and make it more appealing to keep the manufacturing and production here in the states.

    This country use to be a manufacturing powerhouse, now it’s more like a model doll house. Bring back the pride of workmanship, make the USA brand mean something again.

    • jojo319 says:

      Nowadays in the US the word “Corporation” = Evil. I don’t see corporate laws getting friendlier anytime soon. Would you rather start a company here where you are constantly facing lawsuits and more regulation, or overseas where they actually encourage and reward business?

    • TuxthePenguin says:

      Do you really think that corporations are shipping jobs overseas for the tax credits? That’s one part of their calculation…

      Boil it all down, there are really four or so DIRECT costs from production to sales – cost of materials, cost of labor, cost of transportation and cost of sales. You could also add in cost of transportation to get materials to your factory… but lets ignore that for now. The point doesn’t need every expense factored in. And lets assume you’re going to sell everything here.

      If you produce here, traditionally that means you have higher cost of labor, lower costs of transportation to get your goods to market. Americans command a much higher wage than, say, India.

      But if you can lower your cost of labor enough to offset the increase in transportation, you might want to consider moving your manufacturing there. Some other things you might want to then look at – how much more will it cost to sell the goods (“made in America” biases, etc). Is there a hidden cost for lower quality? Is there a hidden cost for lack of innovation? Maybe there’s a benefit to moving offshore if you can build a more efficient factory rather than using an old one.

      There are hundreds of pieces that go into it. How they are effected by taxes is only done after everything else is figured out and they get what they can expect to profit.

      Then again, if you dropped corporate income tax to 0% on profits derived from items produced in the US… you probably have a good point.

      • SkuldChan says:

        I have no idea what the incentive was, but my job (really really big software company) was sent overseas to India where they have like 15 people doing my job (not even kidding). They pay those combined people more than I ever made, so why did they move it all to India?

        On a side note they aren’t even that good – I heard from a friend who still works there they managed to lose a good number of the accounts I used to work on so while they increased headcount on my product 15x – it didn’t help.

  3. NarcolepticGirl says:

    We’ve still been hiring like crazy due to gov. funds.
    Mostly scientists, though. But other stuff, too.

    • jojo319 says:

      Public sector and union jobs are pretty secure last I checked also.

      • dragonfire81 says:

        Union jobs are almost ALWAYS secure. Every tried to fire someone in a Union? it’s physically impossible, it can’t be done.

        • NarcolepticGirl says:

          No. But my uncle just got laid off from his elevator union.

        • DariusC says:

          Yeah, because people pay percentages of their salary or fees to the union to keep the job. The fees are so high that you keeping your job for 10 years with a union is the equivelent of not having a union and getting fired in 7 years. Unless that union helps you keep your job longer than you could have before, they just suck money.

  4. smo0 says:

    Yeah, definitely not a time to make waves at your job if you have one …. things have been tense where I’m at….

    • ARP says:

      Yep- productivity is way up because employers are holding the employment market over our heads and forcing us to work 2-3 FTE jobs with one person. They’re treating us worse than before.

      • ElizabethD says:

        I hear you. I and a bunch of others were laid off as of June 30, and my surviving former coworkers have been sharing horror stories about the resulting workload, pressure, and unpleasantness. Something’s gotta give.

        • dragonfire81 says:

          Where I work we’ve been running on a skeleton crew pretty much since the start of the year. We’ve managed to keep up with the main tasks but a lot of secondary stuff has fallen by the wayside, fortunately corporate doesn’t seem to care, they’re more concerned with cutting our payroll.

          • smo0 says:

            Agreed, it’s not just here either – I’m in constant contact with “co-workers” around the globe… the pressure is everywhere….

            My head hurts… every day…

            I’ve gone through bottles of Excedrin…

  5. areaman says:

    Wonder how long before the these people can get a job at (fill in the blank) post start.

    Followed by RTFA he/she has applied for those jobs!!!

  6. ARP says:

    We should have a flexible tariff based on the exporting country. We can evaluate exporting countries through a bunch of measures: Labor laws, Environmental laws, human rights, goverment subsidies, etc.

    Bascially, the closer you are to our own standards, the lower the tariff would be (or none at all). So countries with lax laws (or lax enforcement) would face a higher tariff to level the playing field.

  7. ARP says:

    It’s a a win-win cycle for business. They can use the threat the poor job market of the force productivity gains on their people, which keeps headcount down. So they get the advantages of all the same net productivity, but with fewer people.

    Most large companies have recovered most of their value and profits are back up, due to cost cutting (not hiring). So, companies are paying their executives lots of money and sitting on cash or investing it, rather than expanding production, hiring people, etc. Investing cash doesn’t create as many new jobs as expanding a business. Having enough cash is good, but there’s a certain point where its an inefficient use of money.

    • ElizabethD says:

      This is exactly what is turning my college-age son into a radical socialist!

      • TuxthePenguin says:

        Guess I’ve never understood the envy that grows into hatred when people look at executive pay compared to the worker… if we were in a world ruled by nepotism and CEO’s passing on their title to their children a la royalty, I might understand. But its not like CEOs haven’t worked hard and fought to get those jobs…

        To be, I look at that and would decide to work harder to get up into that club. And yet others decide that they want to drag everyone else down… I’ve just never understood that sentiment.

        • Tombo says:

          It really depends from company to company. My experience, the execs decided to outsource a good chunk of development and QA to India. India basically destroyed the product’s future and made it stagnate. Of course they all turned a blind eye and professed a huge success. (I mean it was their decision, they can’t be wrong). On paper, the execs made a huge bonus because they cut costs. In the long term, they can no longer compete because they can’t innovate. The execs have now moved on to another company and left the mess to the next round of execs, who are trying to employ the same strategy.

          If I have a goal to lose weight, and I chop off a leg, technically, the goal was met. That doesn’t mean it’s healthy. That’s the trend that’s been going on since the dot bomb recovery. We’re becoming a country that produces nothing but bullshit.

        • ARP says:

          Because the cards are so stacked against you that you’ll make into that elite club.

          I look at it this way- If I were lucky enough to make to the top, I would be fine with me making $4M rather than $6M per yearI (due to paying taxes), knowing that if I didn’t make it, I’d have my essentials (health care, public transportation, basic social services, etc.) taken care of and can still lead a reasonably comfortable life.

          We’re approaching a 3rd world country system where we have a few really rich people, a small middle class, and a lot of poor people. Not poor compared third world countries, but poor compared to our historic standard of living. And it’s not because taxes are too high (they’re the lowest theyve been since just before the stock market crash).

          • jurupa says:

            This was bound to happen anyway (loads of poor with a select group of rich people and no one in the middle). As we where living the good life on really nothing but air for years and it has now caught up to us. This recession is very much needed when it comes to fixing our inflated life style economically speaking.

    • TuxthePenguin says:

      You’re right – you see the most productivity gains during downturns as companies turned lean and mean.

      But one of the reasons that a lot of businesses aren’t expanding is because of the uncertainty of the tax system. Most companies look at expected after-tax ROI before deciding to expand. If taxes go up, that goes down. And if you can get a better expected after-tax ROI from investing rather than expanding, why expand?

      • ARP says:

        I disagree- we see what happens when we give tax breaks- they keep the money, pay out shareholders, pay executives more (even though they haven’t done anything to earn it), etc. They may expand a small amount, but a vast majority of that tax cut gets “lost” and doesn’t really help provide jobs. The tax money is better spent where it can more directly provide jobs.

        We’ve tried supply side economics for many years and its been sucessful at created a small number of really rich people and significantly increasing the number of people below the poverty line and working poor.

  8. Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ゜-゜ノ) says:

    Just an off comment, but how come every story about the economy seems to necessitate the word “unexpectedly”?

    • TuxthePenguin says:

      You’re half right… its only when the news is negative. If its positive, of course it was expected!

    • dragonfire81 says:

      Because the “economists” the news agencies rely on to make predictions and forecast these things are so far out of touch with reality it’s laughable.

  9. backwerds says:

    Isn’t there a direct relation from the spike in joblessness to the ending of the census? Wasn’t it artificially raised because of the census and the temporary employees?

    • ChuckECheese says:

      Although I’m too lazy to find the sources, yes, I’ve seen several media/econ references to the fact that the end of the census will increase unemployment.

  10. tbax929 says:

    I got really lucky. I lost a job at a struggling agency and got hired on by a growing one at anew office they just opened here, at almost twice the salary. But I feel bad for some of my former coworkers, who haven’t seen a raise or a bonus in over 2 years. My former employer has created an environment of fear in which people are working really hard because they’re terrified of losing their jobs.

  11. dolemite says:

    I feel like we are on an endless treadmill. “Profits of so and so are slightly higher than expected” “Unemployment higher this month than expected.” “Dow has best month since 2009″. Then a few weeks later:

    “Dow drops 2.5% in one day.” “Unemployment slightly better than thought.” “Profits of so and so fall below what was predicted.”

  12. fsnuffer says:

    This is impossible. Obama gave a speech last month saying unemployment would be going down

    • ARP says:

      Bush didn’t admit there was a problem with the economy until we were in freefall. Republicans didn’t admit there was a recession until a few months after Obama became president and then they could blame him for it. They even tried that talking point when the was trying to pass the stimulus (the economy is fine).

      …I’ve got more.

    • jurupa says:

      And you believe what Obama says? He is a politician. Which means he is going to LIE.

    • random123 says:

      Hee Hee! nice one – the chosen one is always right.

  13. eccsame says:

    My company’s hiring writing and web design jobs at least one a week. We must be the exception. Of course, it does mean living in Baltimore.

  14. msky says:

    People were asking for change when they elected Barry. They got change – they are unemployed. You got what you wanted. Whats the problem?

    • ARP says:

      Recession started under Bush. We were already deep into it before Obama was elected. Electing McCain would have done nothing to stop it. The only thing that would be different is that we wouldn’t be concerned about the deficit (e.g. Dick Cheney said “deficits don’t matter”), unless they do.

    • Marshmelly says:

      Barry?

  15. u1itn0w2day says:

    Outsourcing, illegal and legal imigrant labor, unlicensed contractors, declining unions, mega profits/corporate greed and lack of understanding of things like a ‘bubble’ or fluke should any unemployment statistic be a surprise?

    • random123 says:

      unions cost us jobs. If people were paid based on the value that they create and how easily they can be replaced there would be no reason to export jobs to China, where people ARE paid based on the value that they create and how easily they are replaced.

  16. dolemite says:

    The fact of the matter is:

    People want to argue for tax breaks for incentives for business. Business gets the tax breaks and sit on the profits (“Record breaking profits again for us this quarter! We just added 25 more people to the world’s wealthiest people list!), or they outsource, etc. I’ve seen it in the company I work for. The more money they make, the greedier they get.

    This is why Uncle Sam is letting the tax breaks on the wealthiest expire. The more money they make, the more they hoard. They don’t “trickle down”.

    Now, you say, no one is preventing you from opening your own business and making it big. That’s true, except you have companies like Walmart come in, and they have such buying power, no one can compete with them. So mom and pop that had worked 20 years making a success of the family business (while supporting local businesses) now go out of business and have to work for Walmart for minimum wage and no benefits. Meanwhile, the stash of the infamous Walmart family grows yearly.

    • nerble says:

      Unless the rich are “hoarding” their money in their mattresses, yes even doing that does trickle down. If they invest it, then more money is available to companies to grow and hire. If they put it in savings it makes it available for banks to lend to companies that want to grow and hire. If they blow it on speed boats someone has to make the speed boat, maintain it, ect, thusly creating jobs. Also despite it’s massive buying power Walmart is not the only company in the US, which is strange based on your statement. And I can think of eleven billion things Walmart does not do, which means that they haven’t killed the entire business creation market quite yet.