By Jonathan Tse
On the week of November 7th, there was an all time low of 502,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance since the week of January 3rd. Some believe that this could be a sign that the problem of joblessness is beginning to be solved and that unemployment rates may begin to decline. This number of first-time job claims was much lower than expected since the estimate for this week was 510,000. It is believed that this is a sign that companies are cutting jobs at a slower pace than at the beginning of the year, but economists say that joblessness rates are expected to rise until they peak during mid-2010. The reason for this is that analysts say that claims must fall to approximately 450,000 or below to indicate that the economy is adding jobs. The concern that there will be a jobless recovery still worries many, but the government is working to improve the situation. President Obama announced that he plans to hold a new jobs forum and economic growth in December. Also, last week President Obama signed a bill that would provide 20 more weeks of jobless benefits to the unemployed. This plan will be funded by extending the long-standing unemployment tax on employers to 2011.