June 9, 2006


Jobless claims fall more than expected (David Lawder, June 8, 2006, Reuters)

The number of U.S. workers claiming an initial week of jobless aid tumbled by a greater-than-expected 35,000 last week to the lowest level in two months, a government report showed on Thursday,

In a report signaling some resilience in the U.S. labor market after disappointing May payrolls data, the Labor Department said first-time claims for state unemployment insurance benefits fell to 302,000 in the week ended June 3 from an upwardly revised 337,000 claims the previous week.

Wall Street economists had forecast a smaller drop in initial claims to 325,000 from an initially reported 336,000.

The report helped the dollar extend gains against the euro and yen while U.S. Treasury debt prices pared gains.

Recent immigrants educated, employed but seek better jobs (LAURENCE ILIFF, 6/09/06, The Dallas Morning News)
ACAPULCO, Mexico - Like the weather in this booming resort, Mexico's economy is hot. The government is awash in oil profits. Exports are at record levels. The stock market index has almost doubled in the last two years. Unemployment is at 3.3 percent.

So why do thousands of Mexicans, such as beachwear vendor Cristina Vargas, risk their lives crossing into the United States? And why is the practice expected to continue despite rising prosperity at home and tough border legislation pending in the U.S. Congress?

"The money is just better over there," said Vargas, who swam across the Rio Grande in 1999, worked various jobs in the United States, and returned to Acapulco last year. The 40-year-old single mother did not leave Mexico out of economic desperation. She left simply to improve her family's future.

More and more Mexicans who immigrate to the United States are employed urban dwellers with high school diplomas and even some college experience who are looking for better prospects, studies in both countries show. Many crossed legally and overstayed a visa, according to a study released last month.

That bucks the conventional wisdom that immigrants are mostly poor people looking for any kind of job and who would stay home if the economy grew. And some analysts say emigration will not stop until Mexico runs out of young people entering the workforce and until it begins to offer something akin to the economic opportunities in the United States - which is not likely to happen for 10 to 15 years.

Jobless rate nears 32-year low (TAVIA GRANT, Globe and Mail)
The Canadian economy added a stunning 96,700 new jobs in May — matching a record high — driving the unemployment rate to its lowest level since December, 1974.

The rate unexpectedly tumbled to 6.1 per cent from 6.4 per cent, Statistics Canada said Friday. [...]

“This jump was due to new entrants to the labour market obtaining full-time employment and coincides with fewer people working part time,” Statscan said.

While growth continued to surge in Alberta, there were also big increases in Ontario and Quebec in May.

“Strength in the service industries in Ontario and Quebec more than offset continued declines in manufacturing,” the report said.

At the national level, the biggest gains in May came in finance, insurance, real estate and leasing, health care and social assistance, and public administration. Employment fell, meantime, in manufacturing as well as in educational services.

Had enough of NAFTA?:

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 9, 2006 8:52 AM

It's worth observing that none of this growth in other countries would be happening if Bush hadn't cut taxes. Make the tax cuts permanent, reform the US tax system, and the American economic engine will allow the rest of the world to loathe us in $300 Italian jeans.

Posted by: j at June 9, 2006 11:37 AM