Applications for Jobless Benefits Falls Slightly, Manufacturing Slows
The number of Americans filing new applications for jobless benefits fell slightly, and manufacturing in the Philadelphia region decreased, pointing to a weakening economy.
In the week ending June 16, the Labor Department reported that initial claims for unemployment benefits fell 2,000, to a seasonally adjusted 387,00 from the previous week’s revised figure of 389,000.
The four-week moving average for new claims, considered a better measure of labor market trends, increased 3,500 to 386,250, from last week’s revised average of 382,750. This is the highest level since December 2010.
The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.6 percent for the week ending June 9, unchanged from the prior week’s unrevised rate.
In a separate report, the Labor Department said US payrolls increased by 69,000 in May, the slowest pace in a year and showing little improvement since January. The jobless rate remains at 8.2 percent.
In an article published by Bloomberg, former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan said the U.S. economy “looks very sluggish.”
In a television interview on Bloomberg Surveillance with Bloomberg’s Tom Keene, Greenspan also said he sees “global slack” in the economy.
The Fed yesterday downgraded their forecasts for growth and employment while noting “significant downside risks” to the economy remain, reported Bloomberg.com.
“It looks very sluggish to me,” Greenspan said when asked about the U.S. expansion. “We have a two-stage economy in this country” he said, referring to his recent writings.
Greenspan said a little over 90 percent of the US gross domestic product comes from producing assets with a life expectancy of less than 20 years – that part of the economy is “doing reasonably well.” The other approximately 8 percent, mainly the output of structures including single-family residences, is “down 50 percent.”