I should preface this post by stating that at this time, I think President Obama is a favorite for re-election. But in the event that you are wondering why I haven’t yet bet any farms on this prediction, consider this:
New U.S. claims for unemployment benefits fell more than expected last week, but a rise in the four-week moving average to a six-month high indicated the labor market recovery will remain painfully slow.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell 29,000 to a seasonally adjusted 409,000, the Labor Department said on Thursday, continuing to unwind the prior weeks spike.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims dropping to 420,000. The prior weeks figure was revised up to 438,000 from the previously reported 434,000.
The four-week moving average of unemployment claims, a better measure of underlying trends, rose 1,250 to 439,000 – the highest level since mid-November.
Put simply, it’s really hard for Presidents to get re-elected when job numbers are that weak.