The rate of new jobless claims appears to be tapering off, but new filings continued their lengthy streak of hovering above 400,000, according to Reuters.
First-time claims for state unemployment insurance benefits, a rough guide to the pace of layoffs, fell by 13,000 to 421,000 in the June 14 week from a revised 434,000 for the prior week, the Labor Department said.
While it's certainly good news that employers aren't laying people off quite as much any more, these figures still indicate a weak labor market. While it's clear that Bush's supply-side economic policies aren't intended to help the average American except incidentally, one wonders if high unemployment is indeed an unintended consequence. After all, given Republican hostility toward labor, a weak job market is yet another gift GOP politicians could give their corporate cronies, enabling the latter to cut salaries and benefits and force longer working hours -- excuse me, "increase productivity" -- keeping the profits for the "entrepreneurs" in the boardrooms.