Unemployment Claims Continue to be Stubbornly High

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Steve Benen put up his weekly chart of initial unemployment claims today, and I thought it might be useful to put up a slightly different version of the chart. This one is a 4-week moving average, so it removes a bit of noise from the figures, and it starts in January, so it shows us only how the economy has been doing this year.

Unemployment claims have dropped dramatically since the peak of the recession in 2009, but as you can see, they haven’t really budged much since the beginning of the year. They’re bouncing up and down around a mean of 370,000 or so, and don’t show much sign of getting down into the neighborhood of 320,000, where we’d like them to be. This is hardly surprising news or anything, but it’s yet another sign that we should be doing a lot more to shift the economy into a higher gear.

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WE'LL BE BLUNT.

We have a considerable $390,000 gap in our online fundraising budget that we have to close by June 30. There is no wiggle room, we've already cut everything we can, and we urgently need more readers to pitch in—especially from this specific blurb you're reading right now.

We'll also be quite transparent and level-headed with you about this.

In "News Never Pays," our fearless CEO, Monika Bauerlein, connects the dots on several concerning media trends that, taken together, expose the fallacy behind the tragic state of journalism right now: That the marketplace will take care of providing the free and independent press citizens in a democracy need, and the Next New Thing to invest millions in will fix the problem. Bottom line: Journalism that serves the people needs the support of the people. That's the Next New Thing.

And it's what MoJo and our community of readers have been doing for 47 years now.

But staying afloat is harder than ever.

In "This Is Not a Crisis. It's The New Normal," we explain, as matter-of-factly as we can, what exactly our finances look like, why this moment is particularly urgent, and how we can best communicate that without screaming OMG PLEASE HELP over and over. We also touch on our history and how our nonprofit model makes Mother Jones different than most of the news out there: Letting us go deep, focus on underreported beats, and bring unique perspectives to the day's news.

You're here for reporting like that, not fundraising, but one cannot exist without the other, and it's vitally important that we hit our intimidating $390,000 number in online donations by June 30.

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