Thursday, February 04, 2010

Jobless Claims in Perspective: Adjusted for Workforce Today's Claims Are Below 1992 Level

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- "First-time filings for state unemployment benefits climbed to their highest level since mid-December last week, defying the forecasts of economists who had expected a sharp downturn, government data showed Thursday. For the week ended Jan. 30, initial claims rose 8,000 to stand at 480,000, according to the Labor Department. A closely watched barometer for U.S. employment, claims had spiked earlier in January. However, economists have thought that the increase would quickly be reversed.

The claims data may cause economists to become more pessimistic about the U.S. employment report for January -- pivotal for jobseekers, investors and Washington policy makers alike -- that will be released by the government on Friday morning. It is starting to look as though the downward trend in claims, which has been key to the story of payroll gains in the next few months, has stalled but we need more data to be sure," said Ian Shepherdson, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics.

Other economists said the backlog problem was centered in California and may be cleared up in coming weeks. This week, the government said only that there were no reports of unusual factors that might have influenced the data. The four-week moving average for initial claims, designed to smooth out fluctuations in the weekly data, rose to 468,750, up 11,750 (see chart above), the highest level since the week ended Dec. 5."

MP: Following 19 straight weekly declines, jobless claims (4-week moving average) have increased for the last three weeks and are at the highest level in eight weeks.


See Scott Grannis' post on why this recent "hiccup" doesn't mean anything. In his post Scott writes: "In fact, if you adjust claims for the size of the workforce (which is 21% larger today than it was then), today's level of claims is about 5% lower than than the average level of claims in the first half of 1992."

9 Comments:

At 2/04/2010 4:21 PM, Anonymous Uncle said...

Jobless claims in propaganda, you mean. It burns to have your speculation blasted to pieces by reality.

You published your fallacious spin too late to calm the plunging stock market. DJIA is down over 700 pts in the past couple of weeks. You were told this was coming.

More will come soon. The DJIA will be at 8000 very soon with financials leading the way.

Optimism from passengers doesn't stop a plane crash. It doesn't stop economic turmoil and stagnation either.

 
At 2/04/2010 6:15 PM, Anonymous Quicksilver said...

Just another 530,000 people losing their jobs last week - nothing to worry about though.

400,000 , 500,000 , what's the difference?

"Things are gettin better every day." - President Starkey

 
At 2/04/2010 6:30 PM, Blogger bobble said...

Considering claims under the emergency programs, total continuing claims have moved up to 10.455 million

chart from Northern Trust

 
At 2/04/2010 6:52 PM, Anonymous Outworse said...

At this rate of decline, we'll be back to 300,000 initial claims per week on Veterans Day of this year.

Thanks for your service.

 
At 2/04/2010 8:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"NonFarm Payrolls in Perspective: Adjusted for Workforce Today's Payrolls are Below 1999 Level"

The chart will be adjusted tomorrow morning. And it will look so ugly that the vertical axis may need to be altered.

 
At 2/05/2010 3:34 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

The U.S. lost 7 1/2 million jobs over the past two years, and perhaps 1 million jobs are created each year just to keep up with population growth. Without a sharp increase in job creation this year, federal, state, and local governments will need to raise taxes even more and really cut spending.

 
At 2/05/2010 3:47 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Actually, the U.S. needs to create about 2 million jobs a year to keep up with population growth:

Obama: Economy probably won't produce enough jobs until 2010
September 20, 2009

"I think we'll be adding jobs, but you need 150,000 additional jobs each month just to keep pace with a growing population," the president said."

 
At 2/05/2010 6:58 AM, Anonymous geoih said...

Quote: "In fact, if you adjust claims for ..."

You see, if we change the numbers to these other numbers, then they're better.

 
At 2/05/2010 8:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The chart will be adjusted tomorrow morning. And it will look so ugly that the vertical axis may need to be altered.

Lo & behold.

 

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