First-time claims for unemployment insurance for the week of March 9 rose by 6,000.

This is not good news and let’s not put a gloss on it.

However, if you read the homepage headlines on financial sites (say, Market Watch) you could be forgiven for thinking the situation drastically worse:

US First-time Unemployment Claims Rise to 229, 000 in Week of March 9

For just a sec, I thought the rise was really startling, that new claims might have been up tens of thousands.

Reading the story, you might come away with a less frightening take on the situation:

The four-week average of new jobless claims, on the other hand, fell by 2,500 to 223,750. The monthly average is viewed as more stable since it smoothens out the weekly gyrations.

What happened: The level of layoffs has risen slightly this year since touching a 50-year bottom last fall, but they still quite low.

The number of people already collecting unemployment benefits, known as continuing claims, increased by 18,000 to 1.77 million. A year earlier, these claims stood at a higher 1.88 million.

We want financial sites to give it to us straight.

We need the bad news as well as the good to make our financial decisions.

Nevertheless, I have become addicted to Market Watch’s gloom.

Here’s my favorite from today: :

Stock-market bear who predicted last recession has tips on readying for next