For the record, I detest that utterly stupid media construct of “seeing green shoots of an economic recovery”. Yet the media continues its frantic search for signs of green shoots of something, anything, that might indicate some economic rebound. For instance, CNN:
The number of Americans collecting long-term unemployment aid fell to the lowest in three months in mid-July, according to government data that implied a slowing pace of layoffs as the economy stabilizes.
The Labor Department said that while initial claims for state unemployment insurance benefits rose by 25,000 to a seasonally adjusted 584,000 last week, the number of people still on benefit rolls after collecting an initial week of aid fell by 54,000 to 6.20 million in the week to July 18, the lowest since early April.
In addition, the four-week moving average for new claims, considered to be a better gauge of underlying trends, fell by 8,250 to 559,000, the lowest since late January.
By my count, according to published reports, 2,231,111 people have filed for initial unemployment in the past four weeks.For some reason, CNN does not appear to even consider that the number of people dropping off the unemployment rolls might be people that ran out of benefits.
“I never dreamed it would be so hard to put my skills back to work,” says Jackson, who was assistant chief pilot at Skybus, a discount airline that went out of business.
Jackson, the airline pilot, has a lovely house and barn in Delaware, an affluent Columbus suburb. Active in church, Jackson’s family has taken troubled youths into their home.
But after nearly two years without work, Jackson is dispirited. He made the last house payment he could afford in June. He has depleted his savings and 401(k) retirement account and sold expensive machining equipment that he used for a hobby and extra income.
“We are serving an increasing number of people who work in professional services and skilled trades,” she said. “These people have maintained solid incomes their entire lives, but are now in financial trouble and are reaching out for counseling to help avoid foreclosure.”
In June, 72 percent of homeowners who got foreclosure prevention counseling from the agency, which serves all 50 states, were either unemployed or reported a drop in income.
Brace yourselves for the reality of those “green shoots”.
There actually aren’t any.