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More Good News on Jobs

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While the economy in general has been recovering for some time, the most tangible aspect of the health of the economy for most Americans is the employment situation. After a strong March, there is more good news:

    The number of people filing new claims for unemployment benefits dropped last week to the lowest level in more than three years, a promising sign that companies feel better about the economy’s prospects and are less inclined to get rid of workers.

    The Labor Department (news – web sites) reported Thursday that new applications filed for jobless claims declined by a seasonally adjusted 14,000 to 328,000 for the week ending April 3. That marked the lowest level since Jan. 13, 2001.

    ….The more stable four-week moving average of claims, which smooths out weekly fluctuations, also went down last week by 3,250 to 336,750. That represented the lowest level since November 25, 2000.

    The latest snapshot of layoffs raised hopes that recent improvements seen in the labor market might be sustained. A complete turnaround in the jobs market is the one missing piece of the economic recovery puzzle, analysts say.

    The employment situation showed signs of turning an important corner in March. The economy added 308,000 jobs last month – the most in four years. While that’s definitely an improvement from payroll gains registered in previous months, economists want to see net job gains in the range of 200,000 to 300,000 a month on a consistent basis before they declare a recovery in the jobs market.

    The nation’s unemployment rate, meanwhile, edged up to 5.7 percent in March as an improved economic climate beckoned more job seekers to look for work again.

    ….Economists believe the economy grew at a healthy annual rate of around 4.5 percent in the first quarter of this year and is expanding close to that pace in the current April to June quarter. [AP]

While things are very tough in Iraq right now, the fact that our military has been galvanized into decisive action there could actually speed up the transition to democracy if the militants can be crushed. And they will be.

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About Eric Olsen

Career media professional and serial entrepreneur Eric Olsen flung himself into the paranormal world in 2012, creating the America's Most Haunted brand and co-authoring the award-winning America's Most Haunted book, published by Berkley/Penguin in Sept, 2014. Olsen is co-host of the nationally syndicated broadcast and Internet radio talk show After Hours AM; his entertaining and informative America's Most Haunted website and social media outlets are must-reads: Twitter@amhaunted, Facebook.com/amhaunted, Pinterest America's Most Haunted. Olsen is also guitarist/singer for popular and wildly eclectic Cleveland cover band The Props.
  • HW Saxton Jr.

    Punk huh? Exit DID have a great jukebox
    (Black Flag,Ramones,Velvets,etc.)but I
    grew outta my Punk Rock Phase about 20
    years ago.It seemed like a buncha wanna
    be types when I was there.

    I’ve been to Rosa’s it’s pretty cool but
    the door prices are a little steep.It’s
    worth it though to see Melvin Taylor do
    his thang though plus they’ve got pool tables and good food.My friends in Chi live not far from there,sorta on the edge of the Ukranian Village area but in
    a largely hispanic neighborhood.I used to drive down Armitage on my to pick up a friend of mine who lived by the Aldi’s
    off of Kedzie & California, I believe it
    was.I may be wrong but I think that was
    the closest major cross street.Another kind of dodgy neighborhood but basically
    it seemed pretty benign.

  • Eric Olsen

    As far as I can tell from the website and the CDs I bought with drunken enthusiasm, the band mutates. The guitar player that night was really great and had some kind of freaky guitar synthesizer that I discussed with him during an entire break but I don’t remember a word of due to my condition.

    I didn’t really see it as “blues” – more of a general melding of jump blues, piano soul, traditional pop and stuff – but yeah, I thought the band was great. But not a true blues band, per se.

  • LOL…

    Exit is considered a “PUNK” bar. Then they have their theme nights… one of them being a BDSM night with dominatrixes…

    It used to the THE punk place. GG Allen used to go there, if you were underage, they’d let the chicks drink there for free so long as they would handcuff/chain themselves to the bar…

    Then it moved. Then it got different management. The last time I went there was when I was in one of my “moods” and decided to go there on my motorcycle in boots and a skirt and just be a general “trouble maker”. I got really bored and left. I know several of the bartenders and security there.

    Underground Wonderbar… I just remember going there and I was really tanked because… I drank too much for some silly reason, and my friend was shooting dice in the corner.

    The best blues places ARE on the far west and south sides.

    Next time you are in Chicago and you are a blues fan, you might want to check out this local fav. Not many know about it.

  • H. W. Saxton

    I WISH I could sit in with Albert Collins(RIP)!!!

    On a serious note: I am always treated with the
    utmost respect in the ‘hood’ when I am there.Don’t
    know if it’s because I’m just not color conscious
    or if it’s because I can play decent slide guitar
    and I’ll bring my axe and sit in if possible.Most
    likely a combination of the two.

    If you’re in Chi anytime soon Eric,I’d recommend
    dropping by the 5105 Club on W. North Ave over on
    the West Side and you can catch Tail Dragger & Co.
    working their beautifully evil magic every Sunday
    evening about 8:00 Clock or so.Its as close as we
    will ever get to seeing the ‘Howling Wolf’ in OUR
    respective lives. Oh yeah,and you don’t have to
    sing yer way out,just buy a couple beers and feed
    the band kitty.

    Peace,Love and Hound Dog Taylor.

    PS: You liked “The Wonderbar” EO? I liked the bar
    itself (found it by accident one day while doing a
    self guided Gangster tour walking down State St.)
    but not the band.I am such a SNOB about the Blues.

  • mike
  • Eric Olsen

    kind of like Adventures In Babysitting?

  • HW Saxton Jr.

    I realize this conversation has be de-railed from it’s main topic… Some of
    my friends in Chicago took me to “Exit”
    about 3 summers ago.I thought it was fun
    but I’m not into much Rock N Roll at this point in my life.I usually spend my
    time in ChiTown at blues bars over on
    the West Side or down on the South Side.
    Places such as:’7313’Club down on 73rd
    & S.Halsted or ‘The L & L Social Club’ on Kostner & 22nd.
    Beeeyoooooootiful neighborhoods I know.
    But great music and cool people.

  • Eric Olsen

    The last time we were in Chcago we went to the Underground Wonder Bar and saw Lonie Walker’s amazing band, and I had way too many vodka martinis and almost pulled a Justin Zivojinovich, except I was real friendly and the band liked me, and Dawn liked me too until we got back to the hotel and I did the technicolor yawn all over the room.

    That was the last time I drank a lot, and quite possibly the last time ever.

  • Exit used to be cool. Long time ago. I only go there once in a blue moon.

    Neo… well I used to live in the apartment right OVER Neo. You’ll still catch me in Ne0 on the odd thurday night. Like I’ll be there tonight. I don’t think its cool however. My friends just go there/work there.

    Cool bars in Chicago…

    Uh… I wouldn’t know… I hardly go out anymore.

  • I just want to know what that last sentence has to do with anything.

    (Apart from being totally bs. Not that I want to derail the topic in that direction.)

  • HW Saxton Jr.

    HEAVY competition for a job at the far
    end of the world??? YOWWWWWWW!!!! Is our
    economy really THAT f**king bad?

    I’ve got a solid Union job which I’ve had for many years,so I don’t have a real feel for whats happening in the current job marketplace,I must admit.

    Antarctica does sound like an adventure though.Good luck with the job thing.It’s
    gotta be more interesting than hanging
    out at Exit or other cool ChiTown bars.

  • Ha, ha!

    IF I get it, (there is huge competition to work there), you can be assured that I won’t forget my ballot. If Bush wins, then I’ll just take my earnings for six months and maybe camp out in New Zealand. Then I would probably make my way up to Sweden or something like that… I’ve never been to the Nordic lands of Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Iceland… Need to make a pit stop in Italy… I do love Italian food! Who knows, once you start an adventure, its hard to stop.

    I promise to blog it all the way with pictures if it happens. Might be amusing to see what “Tek” gets up to at the south pole.

  • JR

    That sounds like you’ll be on the coast; not as rough as being at the pole. Six months is quite a while, but probably not when you think about what you’d likely be doing back here without a job. I’d be interested in getting in on the meteorite hunting expeditions, but I gather the Japanese have cornered the market on that.

    Yes, penguins are cool. Don’t forget to send in an absentee ballot!

  • They need systems administrators down there for six months. They do have all kinds of other job, however. They even need cooks and cashiers, and dishwashers, etc.

    If I understand correctly, your housing and your food is paid for. You have to buy your own alcohol or extras at the stores there. This means you get paid for six months and have no other expenditures going out save for getting tanked at the company bar. Might not be too bad.

    Plus, there are penguins. =)

  • JR

    Oh man, I’d love to go to Antarctica. Can you imagine the night sky there? Of course, with the new construction they’re softening up the place so any wimp can go there; but still, not everybody’s going to get that kind of experience in life.

    What kind of work did you apply for?

  • We shall see.

    In the meantime, I have read were more an more people are willing to take jobs in Iraq and Afghanistan because they need the money.

    I just applied to Antarctica, believe it or not. Half of me hopes I get it, the other half is like “OMG WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING!!!”

  • Eric Olsen

    Tech jobs – along with everything other than manufacturing – will steadily come back as companies feel confident enough to start hiring again. That’s the significance of the most recent figures.