Dismal Data

Job Claims Top 6 Million

Banks may be returning to profitability, but the recession isn’t over: Jobless claims topped six million for the first time today, and housing construction plunged to its second-lowest level on record. The Associated Press writes, “Analysts expect the labor market to remain weak for the most of this year with companies reluctant to hire new workers until an economic recovery is well under way. And the latest housing data show the slump in that market, a major factor in triggering the recession, has yet to hit bottom.” Some silver linings: “For the second straight week the number of people filing new benefits claims dropped more than expected, and single-family home construction, while depressed, appears to be leveling off.”