Jobless Claims Rise Again; Economists Blame Cesar Chavez

Weekly jobless claims for last week rose by 24,000 to 484,000, the Department of Labor reported today.

For the week of March 27, another 260,000 people joined the ranks of the long-term unemployed.

What the heck is going on?

It’s Cesar Chavez’s fault, say Bloomberg and the WSJ.

The Wall Street Journal quotes an anonymous Labor Department economist:

A Labor Department economist said Thursday that this latest rise can also be pegged to lag effects from the spring holidays including Easter and Cesar Chavez Day, which is celebrated in worker-heavy California.

“Volatility is always higher in the weeks surrounding the Easter holiday,” the economist said. “I think that the increase you’re seeing is much more attributable to administrative factors than economic factors.”

We now tune in to see what Salon.com has to say about this:

The long arm of Cesar Chavez reaches beyond the grave, and screws with the unemployment statistics! You see, you really can blame labor organizers for everything!

If this gain really is due to administrative factors, than the marginal improvements we saw a few weeks ago weren’t improvements at all, just administrative blips in the other direction, which basically jibes with what we reported yesterday. Sigh.