Is it good news or just a fluke?
The number of U.S. residents filing initial unemployment claims fell dramatically last week, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. The department reported 565,000 initial jobless claims during the week ended July 4, according to a story on CNNMoney.com. That figure represents a drop of 52,000 from the 617,000 U.S. residents who filed initial jobless claims the week prior.
In fact, the number of people filing for their first claims stood at its lowest since January.
So, fluke or trend? Unfortunately, this news probably falls into the “fluke” category. In the CNN story, economists credit much of the filing drop to a change in the way the automotive industry has handled layoffs this year.
In most years, automakers traditionally idle manufacturing plants in July. This year, though, more plant closures took place earlier, according to experts quoted in the CNN story. This has skewed the numbers fairly significantly.
The bad news, then, is that the number of folks filing for their first unemployment checks will probably jump up again soon. Of course, you’d expect nothing else in this economy, would you?