House Moves To Extend Unemployment Benefits BY 13 Weeks
Despite predictions that the “Great Recession” is running out of steam, the House (Washington) is expected to pass a bill that would extend unemployment insurance benefits by 13 weeks. The extention would supplement the 26 weeks of benefits already offered by California. Critics of the bill are already weighing in that in their opinion such a measure would be a disincentive to looking for work and that extending the benefits would be at a time when the economy is showing signs of recovery could be counterproductive.
I can tell you that the number of unemployment claims processed by Potts & Associates have been diminishing over the past several months which, for us, is a sign that our clients may have stabilized their respective workforce or have substantially slowed down in laying off staff. Either way it is a good sign on a smaller state and national scale. Hopefully by the end of the year we can all be looking toward a more promising 2010.
Doesn’t the slowing down of unemployment claims filed tell half the picture? Can it be that companies have no one else to layoff except for key employees? Perhaps companies are now running on skeleton crews and are operating at the lowest possible work force.
Also, while the number of unemployment claims can be tracked and measured, can the number of new hires be accounted for as well? Is there an agency that does this? This would paint a better picture of our economy. If the number of unemployment claims filed go down but the number of new hires do not increase, how do we know that the economy is doing better?
To answer this question I think we have too look at the unemployment RATE rather than the number of unemployment claims filed. The unemployment rate has increased every month (in most states) since the Wall Street meltdown in October 2008. If the unemployment rate increases month to month, then that means that our economy is not getting better, it’s still declining. What do you think?