MATH IS HARD! Help Me Understand, please!
I need a little help understanding the financial media. Today's jobless claims numbers rose to 429,000 (probably to be adjusted to 439,000 by next week), but the more interesting factoid from the article was this statement:
"Jobless claims below 400,000 are associated with steady job growth." - April 28, 2011
What I need a little help with is this other story about weekly jobless claims, it claims that the weekly jobless claims came in at 372,000 [this story was from three years ago (April 17, 2008)] . Based on the quote above my simple mind would associate 372,000 as "steady job growth". But in this other story I read
"Economist Steve Affinito said the weekly job claim numbers remain a negative datapoint for the economy. "The evidence is certainly building that the United States is in or certainly is approaching a recession" SOURCE: Daily Finance
As the average American my math skills are equivalent to a Singaporean 1st grader, but I'm pretty sure 372,000 is < 400,000. Or is less than >?
Whatever, my question is how can 372,000 jobless claims three years ago indicate a recession is coming, but 399,000 today indicate "steady job growth".
MATH IS HARD! Should I just give my money to a financial planner who could probably make better sense of these numbers? Thanks in advance!