RUSH: The regime is ecstatic today over the unemployment numbers. Now, I'm sorry to have to do this, but I have the truth about the economic news. It's not good, and I'm debating whether or not to even mention it here day before Thanksgiving, but it is what it is. As usual, we are going to have the true story of Thanksgiving in our final hour, that would be during the two to three p.m. Eastern Time hour of the program today.
RUSH: "The number of people applying for unemployment benefits fell sharply last week to the lowest level since July 2008, a hopeful sign that improvement in the job market is accelerating. The Labor Department said Wednesday that weekly unemployment claims dropped by 34,000 to a seasonally adjusted 407,000 in the week ending Nov. 20. Wall Street analysts expected a much smaller drop." Once again, an unbroken record here of always being wrong on the analyst side of things. Now, for the record here, as usual, last week's unemployment number was quietly revised up to 441,000 from 439,000, and this story, AP, fails to note that. Every week the unemployment number gets revised upward. The first number they put out is hocus-pocus, just as this one is.
"A Labor Department analyst said weekly claims are volatile during the week between the Veteran's Day and Thanksgiving holidays. A key question is whether claims will remain this low in future weeks, or bounce back." Now, they wouldn't be saying that in this news story, they would be posing the possibility of bouncing back unless they knew it was gonna bounce back. They're not gonna allow AP to run a story here mentioning the possibility that unemployment, that's not gonna hold here, it's gonna go back up, unless they know. So we're being prepared here for a large bounce back. "The number of people continuing to claim unemployment aid fell by 142,000 to 4.18 million, the lowest in two years. That doesn't include millions of people receiving extended benefits under an emergency program set up by Congress during the recession." The number of people continuing to claim unemployment aid may not have fallen at all since many, if not most of them, have long since begun collecting the federal extensions, which in most cases kicked in after the first 26 or so weeks of unemployment and extend all the way up to 99 weeks. So it's a hocus-pocus report, but it's one the regime wanted to get out there on the day before Thanksgiving.
But there is other economic news: "Orders to U.S. factories for long-lasting manufactured goods plunged in October by the largest amount in 21 months, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday. The drop reflected widespread weakness in a number of areas." Okay, so you keep this in mind. The unemployment number, whoa, it's the best number since July of 2008, yip yip yip yip yahoo. "Orders to U.S. factories for long-lasting manufactured goods plunged in October by the largest amount in 21 months." "The number of people applying for unemployment benefits fell sharply ... The Labor Department said Wednesday that weekly unemployment claims dropped by 34,000." Once again, here is the comparison, and this doesn't include millions of people receiving extended unemployment benefits. Meaning, there hasn't really been any drop.
"Businesses and other employers added jobs in 41 states in October, the best showing in five months. ... California added nearly 39,000 jobs in October. Still, its unemployment rate remained at 12.4 percent, as more people looked for work last month." So they might have added nearly 39,000 jobs, but the unemployment rate didn't change at all. "Debt isn't stressing people as much as it had been, but consumers remain gun-shy about embarking on a big holiday spending spree." Why is that? "An Associated Press-GfK Poll also suggests Americans are more disciplined about using their credit cards. Deep into a stubbornly harsh economic downturn," resisting all the efforts by the administration to fix it, the stubbornly harsh downturn continues to be stubborn.
"More people than last year say they pay off their balances right away. Fewer say they make credit card purchases if they lack enough money at the time. Just 9 percent in the AP-GfK Poll said they plan to spend more this year on holiday purchases than they did a year ago." And the reason for that is they're not working! There's no steady income. "Sales of previously owned homes slipped slightly in October as the housing market struggled in the face of high unemployment and tight credit. The National Association of Realtors said Tuesday that sales of previously owned homes dipped 2.2 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.43 million units." It surprised the analysts, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. So great economic news. It's a sign we're coming out of the depression. Everywhere you look. "Americans earned more and spent more last month, a hopeful sign for the economy ahead of the holiday buying season," but we just heard that more people aren't gonna be buying during the holiday season.
"Consumers boosted their spending 0.4 percent in October, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. That was up from a 0.3 percent increase in September. ... Even with the pickup, consumers are still shying away from the type of spending needed to dramatically lower the 9.6 unemployment rate." Whoa! "Consumers are still shying away from the type of spending needed to dramatically lower the unemployment rate." I thought government was going to lower the unemployment rate. I thought the stimulus package, Porkulus one, Porkulus two, all those massive Obama tax cuts, TARP and all that, I thought that was supposed to lower unemployment rate. Now AP tells us that it's gonna be consumer spending, i.e., customers. Now they tell us.
"Federal Reserve officials have become more pessimistic in their economic outlook through next year and have lowered their forecast for growth. The economy will grow only 2.4 percent to 2.5 percent this year, Fed officials said Tuesday in an updated forecast." But the unemployment news out there is really, really good. I mean it's not been this good since July of 2008. It's a hopeful sign that maybe the recession is ending, except for all this other news.