Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Jobless Claims (4-Week Avg.) Fall to Two-Year Low

(Reuters) - "Claims for unemployment benefits fell more than expected and a moving average fell to a two-year low, pointing to some relief in the weak jobs market, a government report showed on Wednesday. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell to a seasonally adjusted 435,000 in the week to November 6 from a revised 459,000, the Labor Department said. Analysts were expecting claims to slip to 450,000 from an initially reported 457,000. The four-week moving average of claims, considered a better measure of underlying market trends, eased to 446,500, the lowest since September 2008 (see chart)."

30 Comments:

At 11/10/2010 10:14 AM, Blogger Michael said...

Looks like jobless claims have flat lined.

 
At 11/10/2010 10:39 AM, Blogger Junkyard_hawg1985 said...

This was a good report this week. In addition to the lower claims you reported, there were other more important results. The number of continuing claims dropped. The number of EUC unemployed dropped. The number on extended benefits dropped. Overall, over 200,000 people fell off the unemployment rolls last week.

 
At 11/10/2010 10:55 AM, Blogger sethstorm said...

Doesn't help that the people are falling off of EUC. Thank the employers for not hiring on that one.

The question is what's with this flatlining that's happening? That is, the reluctance to go below 450k or above 490k.

 
At 11/10/2010 10:59 AM, Blogger sethstorm said...


The number of continuing claims dropped. The number of EUC unemployed dropped. The number on extended benefits dropped. Overall, over 200,000 people fell off the unemployment rolls last week.

...who (thanks to the lack of hiring), go on welfare. Effectively, these jobless people are disposed of, and freely attackable as welfare recipients.

 
At 11/10/2010 12:36 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"...who (thanks to the lack of hiring), go on welfare. Effectively, these jobless people are disposed of, and freely attackable as welfare recipients"...

Hmmm, what do you bet sethstorm that many of these people might be able to get a job at one of the local fast food emporiums, grocery stores, or maybe even a Walmart?

Interestingly what six days supposedly does to the unemployment claims: Reuters vs Reuters...

 
At 11/10/2010 3:07 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...


Hmmm, what do you bet sethstorm that many of these people might be able to get a job at one of the local fast food emporiums, grocery stores, or maybe even a Walmart?

...which still have an overflow of desperate applicants. High-churn work is not the universal answer that you think it should be. Finally, your suggestion sounds like a veiled insult at people (who are worse off at those places).

 
At 11/10/2010 3:56 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

U.S. corporations accumulated a record $1.8 trillion in cash recently (e.g. from lower cost structures and increased revenues), and they're still not hiring much. Perhaps they should follow Google's example to help spur demand:

Google to give 10 pct raises to entire work force
(AP) – 3 hours ago

"Google Inc. is showing it still knows how to make its employees feel special: It is giving all 23,300 of them 10 percent raises next year.

Google has long been known for feeding its workers free food and pampering them with other perquisites that would be considered luxuries by most employees.

The raises are yet another sign of Google's bullishness. The company didn't disclose how much the added payroll would cost, but assuming an average employee salary of $100,000 — not outlandish by high-tech standards— the across-the-board raises would amount to an additional $233 million annually.

Google can easily afford that, with $33 billion in cash as of Sept. 30."

 
At 11/10/2010 4:12 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...

PeakTrader:

On the other hand, contempt for workers is what the rest of us get. It's a shame, since there was once some respect not long ago.

 
At 11/10/2010 4:24 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Seth, if I worked for a firm like that, I'd find another job, and then quit. It would be the firm's loss.

I'm sure other workers would also quit, and the firm would become less competitive and go bankrupt.

 
At 11/10/2010 5:08 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Why Are Some of America's Largest Companies Sitting on $1.8 Trillion in Cash?

"The storyline began in The Washington Post, where columnist Fareed Zakaria endeavored to find out why America's 500 largest nonfinancial companies are sitting on $1.8 trillion in cash, rather than spending it on expansion (which would mean new jobs).

Business leaders told Zakaria that it comes down to economic uncertainty surrounding new laws, regulations and taxes; the expansion of federal agencies' authority; and the unknown implications of Obamacare, financial reform and cap-and-trade.

And the kicker? Zakaria notes that most of them had voted for Obama yet all of them now believe he is "at his core, anti-business."

Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg said, "By reaching into virtually every sector of economic life, government is injecting uncertainty into the marketplace and making it harder to raise capital and create new businesses."

And then there's Jeffrey Immelt, chairman and CEO of General Electric, who reportedly said of Obama, "business did not like the U.S. president and the president did not like business."

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said:

"Now, this president understands deeply that governments don't create jobs, businesses create jobs. And our job as government is to try to make sure we're creating the conditions that allow businesses to prosper so they can hire people back, get this economy going again."

In reality, this President has done the exact opposite. He has attempted to use government spending to create jobs, failed miserably, and has only succeeded in creating an environment where businesses -- the real job creators -- are afraid to put America back to work."

 
At 11/10/2010 5:35 PM, Blogger rufus said...

They're "sitting on" the cash because it's in Offshore accounts, and it's going to stay there until our inane tax laws are changed. If they brought it back, and invested in new plant, or equipment, or hiring, they'd have to pay U.S. taxes on it.

As long as it's sitting "over there" they don't have to.

 
At 11/10/2010 6:24 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Say, sethstorm, aren't you an ex-IT person? Surely Google has a job you can handle. you might even be able to work from home. ...I mean from your mother's basement. Have you tried them, or are they only hiring people with current skills?

 
At 11/11/2010 9:10 AM, Blogger sethstorm said...


And the kicker? Zakaria notes that most of them had voted for Obama yet all of them now believe he is "at his core, anti-business."

Those business leaders thought that they could buy Obama. Unfortunately, they couldn't keep him bought.



Ron H. said...

Your snark is unappreciated and unproductive.

 
At 11/11/2010 10:56 AM, Blogger Junkyard_hawg1985 said...

Seth,

You comment reminds me of an old quote: "An honest politician is one who once bought, stays bought."

 
At 11/11/2010 11:18 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"sethstorm writes: "Finally, your suggestion sounds like a veiled insult at people (who are worse off at those places)"...

So you're basically admitting that its O.K. for these people to sit around until some as yet defined job replete with a great hourly rate and a whole lot of side bennies comes along and begs them to come on in to work?

I think rufus makes a very salient observation about money sitting offshore...

Rich Karlgaard in his Forbes blog wrote the following: "In the political realm supply side means this: Reduce the tax and regulatory burden on the producers, and you'll get more production; raise the tax and regulatory burden on producers, and you'll get less"...

 
At 11/11/2010 12:23 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"So you're basically admitting that its O.K. for these people to sit around until some as yet defined job replete with a great hourly rate and a whole lot of side bennies comes along and begs them to come on in to work?"

juandos, you forgot training. Employer paid training while drawing full pay is also a requirement.

 
At 11/11/2010 12:35 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"juandos, you forgot training. Employer paid training while drawing full pay is also a requirement"...

Oops! My bad Ron H...:-)

I guess that also includes parking near the front door of the plant too, right?

Makes me wonder if apprenticeships exist any longer...

 
At 11/11/2010 1:54 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Makes me wonder if apprenticeships exist any longer..."

Do you mean like F. W. Woolworth, who, at age 15, left the mind numbing drudgery of the farm to seek his fortune in the city where he obtained employment at a dry-goods store and worked without pay for 3 months to learn the skills required to do the job?

No. I don't think so.

In fact, I think unpaid internships are illegal for the most part, thanks to progressives and unions whining about the horrors of such exploitation. That, despite the testimony of many who have served as unpaid interns, that it was the most valuable experience they had ever had. More so, even than the years of schooling they had paid for.

So, you can pay to learn skills, but you can't acquire them for free by interning.

 
At 11/11/2010 3:02 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"Do you mean like F. W. Woolworth, who, at age 15, left the mind numbing drudgery of the farm to seek his fortune in the city where he obtained employment at a dry-goods store and worked without pay for 3 months to learn the skills required to do the job?"...

Well dang Ron H! That's exactly what I was thinking about and I wonder how many people would want to do something like that today?

Yet there are still a few 'payless' internship programs floating around...

Congressional page kids, interns at radio and television outlets but I think those a few and far between...

 
At 11/11/2010 3:23 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Yet there are still a few 'payless' internship programs floating around...

Congressional page kids, interns at radio and television outlets but I think those a few and far between...
"

I wonder if there are still White House intern jobs available? I remember one from the '90s that included some highly unusual skills transfer.

I can't find the video anywhere but John Stossel did a segment on unpaid TV studio interns not long ago, in which half of his audience consisted of former unpaid interns who spoke effusively of their experience, and how it had been worth more to their careers than any money they could have earned.

 
At 11/11/2010 3:33 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"I wonder how many people would want to do something like that today?"

Probably not many, even if min wage laws weren't in the way. Too bad.

As for Woolworth, I understand that he was so grateful to the man who had given him that early opportunity, that when he became wildly successful he sought the man out and hired him as a top manager in his company.

 
At 11/11/2010 4:54 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"I remember one from the '90s that included some highly unusual skills transfer"...

What are you saying here Ron H, that 'stain remover' isn't one of the basic perks of a White House intern?!?!...:-)

Speaking of Stossel you might find this particular editorial bit by him in the Washington Examiner worth a glance: Unpaid interns are exploited

I also remember seeing the Stossel bit on television of him talking to a collection of ex-interns and then I remembered the editorial...

 
At 11/11/2010 9:47 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"What are you saying here Ron H, that 'stain remover' isn't one of the basic perks of a White House intern?!?!...:-)"

Well, not at that time, but I'll bet it is now!

I remember that Stossel editorial now, it's almost word for word from the show. I remember that Village Voice writer, Anya Kamenetz, saying her bit about paying the guy who cleans the floor, and I had to pause & rewind to play it again because I thought I had mis-heard her.

I had trouble understanding how someone who I would expect to be reasonably smart, is really so stupid.

 
At 11/12/2010 12:23 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...


Ron H. said..

The largest problem with those unpaid interships is that they require some sort of other income to support them.

Stossel quotes the experiences of a minority versus the majority.

 
At 11/12/2010 2:56 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 11/12/2010 3:00 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"The largest problem with those unpaid interships is that they require some sort of other income to support them."

That's also the major problem with learning by going to school, except that in addition you have to pay to go to school.

You'll have to do better than that.

"Stossel quotes the experiences of a minority versus the majority."

And your basis for that assertion is...what? Provide a link, please. Your personal opinions have no value.

Did you actually watch that segment, or are you just commenting about things you have no knowledge of?

 
At 11/12/2010 8:24 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...


Ron H.

Stossel's "interviews" are all the evidence one needs.

But if you want to defend Stossel, who is paid to have his wires crossed about humanity and cruelty, that's your call.

 
At 11/13/2010 8:58 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"But if you want to defend Stossel, who is paid to have his wires crossed about humanity and cruelty, that's your call"...

Now can you explain this in real English sethstorm?

 
At 11/13/2010 12:24 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...


juandos said...

That is English.

Stossel's just being paid to be contrary.

 
At 11/13/2010 9:05 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"Stossel's just being paid to be contrary"...

LOL!

No sethstorm Stossel is being paid to have viewers, more viewers mean the people who employ Stossel can sell more advertising...

Its a market thing sethstorm...

 

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