The number of new unemployment claims dropped by 2000 this week according to the Department of Labor, leaving the number of claims at still about 370,000 reports Bloomberg News. “The sluggish progress in unemployment claims, which have retreated from an almost four-year low earlier this year, coincides with job creation that has also lost steam. Absent fewer firings, companies in the U.S. may not ramp up hiring to levels leading to bigger payroll growth.”
Last week’s 370,000 claims was revised up slightly to 372,000, resulting in identical weekly numbers.
The unemployment rate is still estimated to be at about 8.1 percent, although that number could begin to fluctuate more as states lose the ability to provide long-term unemployment benefits due to budget constraints.
The continuation of stagnant job numbers and an unemployment rate that refuses to budge has given new fire to likely Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who is claiming now that if elected, he will bring the unemployment rate down to 6 percent by the end of his first term. “I can tell you that over a period of four years, by virtue of the policies that we’d put in place, we’d get the unemployment rate down to 6 percent, and perhaps a little lower,” Romney says in a Time magazine interview.
But as The Hill reports, that’s 2 percent higher than Romney’s goal of just a few weeks prior. “Romney moved the goalposts in just a matter of weeks,” LaBolt said in a conference call with reporters. “He said 4 percent a couple weeks ago.”
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