May 12, 2016

Initial Unemployment Claims: Big Jump to 294K SA; Raw Claims (262K) 8 Percent HIGHER Than Same Week Last Year

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:50 am

Ominous news from the Department of Labor:


In the week ending May 7, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 294,000, an increase of 20,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level of 274,000. This is the highest level for initial claims since February 28, 2015 when it was 310,000. The 4-week moving average was 268,250, an increase of 10,250 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 258,000.


The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 261,840 in the week ending May 7, an increase of 18,389 (or 7.6 percent) from the previous week. The seasonal factors had expected an increase of 1,372 (or 0.6 percent) from the previous week. There were 242,882 initial claims in the comparable week in 2015.

The seasonal adjustment factors for this year and the same week last year were virtually identical (89.2 and 89.0, respectively).

Last week, in reaction to a 17,000 increase in seasonally adjusted claims, I wrote that “today’s rise, in tandem with ADP’s weak private-sector jobs number yesterday, may mean that the job market and employment might be heading in the wrong direction.”

Now we’ve seen an increase of 37,000 in the past two weeks. It’s too early, but not by much, to say we’re seeing the job market deteriorate, but if we see the same level or especially higher next week, it won’t be too early any more.

Today’s increase in raw claims compared to the same week last year is the largest seen in a nonholiday-affected week in a very long time.

Next week’s seasonal adjustment factor is 88.1, which means that if raw claims come in at 259K, slightly lower than this week’s 262K, we’ll see a repeat of this week’s seasonally adjusted result. Raw claims of 264.4K or more will cause the seasonally adjusted result to be at or above the DOL’s 300K brag level.


UPDATE: Zero Hedge“The last 3 weeks have seen (seasonally adjusted) initial claims soar by the most since 2005.”

SA claims were 247K three weeks ago.

If you look at the graph at ZH, 2005 ended up being a blip, and things settled down to previous levels pretty quickly. Will we be so fortunate this time?

Thursday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (051216)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:00 am

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items either briefly noted below (if any) or otherwise not covered at this blog. Rules are here.

Positivity: High school baseball player thrives despite disability

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Springfield, Ohio (video at link):

Updated: 10:43 p.m. Tuesday, May 10, 2016 | Posted: 8:44 p.m. Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Zeke Dees has steadfastly developed two baseball skills his teammates at Emmanuel Christian High School will never master.

The first involves his 31-inch, 28-ounce bat.

At practice Tuesday afternoon at Home Plate Sports in the Upper Valley Mall, Dees faced a pitching machine as a left-handed hitter. His right hand was at least five inches above the knob, and he held the bat pointed high above his head a little bit like former major-leaguer Craig Counsell.

His mostly paralyzed left arm hung at his side.

The machine fired fastballs, and Dees swung again and again. And again and again he made solid contact swinging with only his right arm. Dees is a sophomore and a .146 hitter for the Lions with seven hits in 48 at-bats and four RBIs.

“I’ve tried it, and I can’t imagine doing that in the middle of a game and feeling comfortable with it,” fellow sophomore Cole Weaver said.

Dees has no choice but to swing with one arm. Just like he has no choice but to catch the ball in left field with a left-hander’s glove on his right hand, flip the ball in the air, drop the glove, catch the ball and throw it back to the infield.

”We tried the thing where you catch it, flip the glove up, just to see what it’s like, and it’s crazy hard,” said sophomore Dylan Herring. “He’s worked really hard to get good at what he’s doing.”

On Monday, Dees made a running catch of a line drive in left-center field for the final out in the Lions’ 7-6 Division IV first-round sectional victory over Catholic Central at Carleton Davidson Stadium.
“I turned around before the play was even over,” Weaver said. “I figured he had it.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.