Friday, April 20, 2012

Economy - #3823 - Food Stamps to Grow Through 2014 CBO Says, Real time Economics - Wall Street Journal (2) Rush Limbaugh - The Jobless Numbers Manipulation (3) Weekly Jobless Claims Above 380K for Second Week - Hot Air (4) Existing Home Sales Fall 2.6% in March, Adding to Downward Housing Trend - Hot Air

The Congressional Budget Office said Thursday that 45 million people in 2011 received Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits, a 70% increase from 2007. It said the number of people receiving the benefits, commonly known as food stamps, would continue growing until 2014. Spending for the program, not including administrative costs, rose to $72 billion in 2011, up from $30 billion four years earlier. The CBO projected that one in seven U.S. residents received food stamps last year. In a report, the CBO said roughly two-thirds of jump in spending was tied to an increase in the number of people participating in the program, which provides access to food for the poor, elderly, and disabled. It said another 20% “of the growth in spending can be attributed to temporarily higher benefit amounts enacted in the” 2009 stimulus law.  Read more.......

The Jobless Numbers Manipulation - Rush Limbaugh - CALLER: Sorry. The Obama administration, the White House, the government put out the unemployment numbers for February and March, and they were, what, 8.3%, both of them? RUSH: No, March was 8.2%. CALLER: Okay. RUSH: We lost jobs, but the unemployment number went down. CALLER: 'Cause they took away jobs from the universe of jobs. RUSH: Well, yeah, they just erased some jobs from the universe, and some people stopped looking, and, yeah, monkeying around with the numbers. CALLER: Well, my question is, is this just monkeying around or is it something deeper? My question is, when people run out of unemployment benefits, they get dropped off, they're not counted anymore. One of the excuses that I heard about the unemployment number not going down as much as it should have was that the people that had stopped looking suddenly came back. How are they counted? RUSH: Because they're counted again. The way it works is this. There's two numbers involved here. The government calls the number that is reported every month U3, the letter U and three. CALLER: Right. RUSH: And that consists of people who are looking for jobs, actively seeking work, but can't find any, period. The U6 number counts people who are not looking for jobs and who have given up looking for jobs, and that number is around 12, anywhere 12 to 15%. The U3 number that gets reported every month, that's the one that's 8.2% for March.  Read more.....

Weekly Jobs Claims Above 380K for Second Week - Hot Air - As if the Obama administration didn’t have enough problems with economic indicators, the Department of Labor gave them another headache. The upward spike two weeks ago in initial jobless claims doesn’t look like a fluke: In the week ending April 14, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 386,000, a decrease of 2,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 388,000. The 4-week moving average was 374,750, an increase of 5,500 from the previous week’s revised average of 369,250. The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.6 percent for the week ending April 7, unchanged from the prior week’s unrevised rate of 2.6 percent. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending April 7 was 3,297,000, an increase of 26,000 from the preceding week’s revised level of 3,271,000. The 4-week moving average was 3,317,750, a decrease of 21,500 from the preceding week’s revised average of 3,339,250.  Read more..........

Existing Home Sales Fall 2.6% in March, Adding to Downward Housing Trend - Hot Air - Yesterday, the Census Bureau showed new-housing starts plummeting 5.8% last month from February, which stunned analysts expecting a slight uptick in the series. Today’s report from the National Association of Realtors shows that it’s not just the new-home market that tanked in March, a result which once again surprised analysts (via Instapundit): Sales of previously owned U.S. homes in March unexpectedly fell for the third time in the last four months, showing an uneven recovery in the housing market. Purchases dropped 2.6 percent to a 4.48 million annual rate from 4.6 million in February, the National Association of Realtors reported today in Washington. The median forecast of economists in a Bloomberg News survey called for an increase to 4.61 million. In January, sales at a 4.63 million rate were the strongest since May 2010.  Read more.........

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