Continuing Economic Malaise

A couple of items here that speak for themselves.

Jobless Claims Unexpectedly Rise; Inflation Pressure Grows

New claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose last week, bouncing back above the key 400,000 level, while core producer prices clumbed faster than expected in March, government reports showed on Thursday.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose 27,000 to a seasonally adjusted 412,000, the Labor Department said.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims slipping to 380,000.

The prior weeks figure was revised up to 385,000 from the previously reported 382,000.

The four-week moving average of unemployment claims—a better measure of underlying trends—climbed 5,500 to 395,750.

And on the inflation front:

U.S. core producer prices rose slightly faster than expected in March and the increase from a year ago was the largest since August 2009, pointing to a broadening in pipeline inflation pressures.

Of course these calculations EXCLUDE food and energy costs…but hey, everyone knows that these don’t affect most people anyway, do they?!

More Americans leaving workforce

The share of the population that is working fell to its lowest level last year since women started entering the workforce in large numbers three decades ago, a USA TODAY analysis finds.

Only 45.4% of Americans had jobs in 2010, the lowest rate since 1983 and down from a peak of 49.3% in 2000. Last year, just 66.8% of men had jobs, the lowest on record.

Doesn’t exactly suggest a vibrant economy, does it?

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