May 26, 2011

Initial Unemployment Claims Exceed Expectations (i.e., They Went Up, When They Were ‘Expected’ To Go Down)

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:51 am

The hits just keep on coming:

In the week ending May 21, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 424,000, an increase of 10,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 414,000. The 4-week moving average was 438,500, a decrease of 1,750 from the previous week’s revised average of 440,250.

Heres the updated chart, which once again shows the previous initial release upwardly revised:


“Unexpectedly,” via Reuters:

Figures showing new claims for U.S. unemployment benefits unexpectedly climbed to 424,000 last week from a revised 414,000 in the prior week also put pressure on the market.

Can’t wait to see the latest batch of excuses.


UPDATE: At the — “Economists were expecting jobless claims to drop to 400,000 …”

UPDATE 2: The not seasonally adjusted claims number is about 9% below last year’s for the same week. That’s a narrower year-over year difference than most previous weeks.

UPDATE 3: Eight weeks ago, an analyst confidently asserted that “The downtrend … is undeniable.” Uh, no.

UPDATE 4: Chris Rugaber at the Associated Press trots out a potential excuse even when DOL says it isn’t one –

No states cited extreme weather as a factor in the increase, a department spokesman said. Tornadoes and floods have devastated several states in the Midwest and South in the past month.

I don’t blame Rugaber for asking the question. But when the answer is no, you don’t bring it up, you look for other explanations. Really Chris, you could as easily have written that “No states cited people leaving their jobs but hedging their bets by filing for benefits in the run-up to last week’s end-of-the-world theatrics.”



  1. Tom,
    The Economist at the are smoking crack,
    it is nothing but a bunch of happy talk & pipe dreams…The fundamentals of a recovery are just not there. Pass the pipe please…..

    George Ure has the best analysis on the problem with the current economy at his web site this morning:

    A Fugly Problem: GDP

    Yeah, you read it right – fugly – a slangerific hot word meaning ‘effing ugly’ among its users who are most likely younger than you and me. And what makes this morning’s GDP Report qualify?

    “Real gross domestic product…
    ( )

    …..the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States…..increased at an annual rate of 1.8 percent in the first quarter of 2011, (that is, from the fourth quarter to the first quarter), according to the “second” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the fourth quarter, real GDP increased 3.1 percent.

    The GDP estimates released today are based on more complete source data than were available for the “advance” estimate issued last month. In the advance estimate, the increase in real GDP was also 1.8 percent

    (see “Revisions” on page 3).

    The increase in real GDP in the first quarter primarily reflected positive contributions from personal consumption expenditures (PCE), private inventory investment, exports, and nonresidential fixed investment that were partly offset by negative contributions from federal government spending and state and local government spending. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, increased……..

    “Not great, Ure, but not the end of the world…”

    Well, yes, in a sense it is: comparing the GDP to the nation’s money supply gives (at a gross level) an indication of inflation.
    If money supply is going up much faster than GDP, then you’ve got the seeds of inflation.
    If money supply dries up then the opposite holds.

    Which gets us to now: Prices are going up – but on average less than the implied monetary inflation rate.

    You could think of it this way: If GDP is up only 1.8 percent as in this morning’s report from BEA, but at the same time we know that M1 is up a whopping 11.8 percent in the past year, and the general prevailing price level is up maybe 3.41 percent
    ( )
    , where’s the other 6.59% going?

    Answer: systemic inflation characteristic of Great Depressions.
    You know, like this one.

    Which explains the lack of jobs. And speaking of which…
    “In the week ending May 21, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 424,000, an increase of 10,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 414,000. The 4-week moving average was 438,500, a decrease of 1,750 from the previous week’s revised average of 440,250.

    The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.9 percent for the week ending May 14, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point from the prior week’s unrevised rate of 3.0 percent.

    The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending May 14 was 3,690,000, a decrease of 46,000 from the preceding week’s revised level of 3,736,000. The 4-week moving average was 3,742,250, an increase of 7,750 from the preceding week’s revised average of 3,734,500. ”

    The good news is what? Well on matters economic, hard to come up with any. The situation is just fugly.

    Comment by greg — May 26, 2011 @ 9:39 am

  2. #1, fugly is a sadly appropriate term.

    Chris Rugaber at the AP is smoking the same stuff as the guys at The Street.

    Comment by TBlumer — May 26, 2011 @ 10:08 am

  3. Our politicians and the Multinational Corporations have sold us and our children out. I do not want my children to end up as corporate serfs. If we do not lead in Technology, we will soon not lead Militarily. Unless we vote out every incumbent politicians and elect statesmen we are totally screwed. Every Traitorous RINO and
    Democrat needs to go down in defeat in the next election.
    That includes Boehner and Schmidt.

    Read Trade Deficit In Advanced Technology Products Is Soaring To New Records

    Comment by greg — May 26, 2011 @ 12:18 pm

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