USA Today: 'Housing Starts, Jobless Claims in Good Shape' Despite Worsening Numbers

August 17th, 2012 1:37 PM

USA Today's Web site features an Associated Press report with the headline "Housing starts, jobless claims in good shape."  For the many readers who just scan headlines, that sounds encouraging.  Yet by the second paragraph the article notes "that construction of single-family homes and apartments dipped 1.1% in July compared with June. . ."  And by the third paragraph:

Housing has been making a modest comeback this year. But even with the gains, the rate of construction and the level of permits remain only about half the 1.5 million annual rate considered healthy.

And what of those jobless claims that are in such good shape?

In a separate report, the number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits edged up slightly last week but remained at a level consistent with modest gains in hiring, the government said.

Housing starts are down, jobless claims are up, but they're both in good shape.  Not quite as miraculous as when the rise of the oceans begins to slow and our planet begins to heal, but heck, it's only his first term.

In the Age of Obama, the economy shows consistent strength and even improvement.  No matter what the statistics actually reflect.