Dude, Where's My Recession? The Series

The new jobless claims report is another positive sign for the economy.


Employers continue to close their ears to the recession propagandists telling them that the economy is in a shambles. Initial jobless claims in the week that ended May 31 fell to 357,000 from 375,000, and the four-week average slid to 368,500 from 371,250. Such claims are usually way over 400,000 week after week during a full-blown contraction. The folks over at Action Economics point to a number of positive developments sure to hearten any bull:

The U.S. initial jobless claims drop to 357k in the final week of May, following yesterday's 40k May ADP gain [in private payrolls] and the upside May ISM NMI surprise at 51.7 despite a modest employment component correction, has put a positive spin on the employment indicators as we approach Friday's jobs report. Some upside surprises in today's retail chain store figures for May, and Wal-Mart's reference to its U.S. business as "strong," has also reinforced the notion that we will get a solid round of rebate-fueled retail sales figures for May despite the dismal vehicle figures, which probably were dominated by the disruptive effects of soaring gasoline prices and the American Axle strike.