02 April 2009

Jobless claims at 26-year high - Or is it?

Don't you just love this. News organizations REALLY LOVE bad news. Of course what they don't say is that 26 years ago, we had about 100 Million LESS people in the U.S. What that means is that the unemployment figures back then was about 1/3rd higher than it is today! Problem is that's not BAD enough news, so they need to make it worse by simply stating the actual numbers instead of the percentage points.
Unfortunately, this plays right into the hands of those on the left who want to push even MORE stimulus, MORE spending, MORE Government, while most of us are fed a steady diet of bad news to keep us from revolting.

Here's the story from Reuters

Jobless claims at 26-year high
Thu Apr 2, 2009 1:42pm BST

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The number of U.S. workers filing new claims for jobless benefits unexpectedly rose to its highest level in over 26 years last week and so-called continued claims jumped to a record high in March, according to data that underscored the labor market deterioration.
KEY POINTS: * The Labor Department said on Thursday initial claims for state unemployment insurance benefits rose 12,000 to a seasonally adjusted 669,000 in the week ended March 28, the highest since the week ending October 2, 1982, from an upwardly revised 657,000 the week before. * Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast 650,000 new claims versus a previously reported count of 652,000 the prior week. * The number of people staying on the benefits roll after collecting an initial week of aid surged 161,000 to 5.73 million in the week ended March 21, the latest week for which the data is available, from 5.57 million the previous week. * This was the highest on record and lifted the insured unemployment rate to 4.3 percent, the highest since a matching 4.3 percent in the week ending May 21, 1983. * The insured unemployment rate was at 4.2 percent in the week ended March 14. * The four-week moving average for new claims, considered to be a better gauge of underlying trends as it irons out week-to-week volatility, climbed 6,500 to 656,750 in the week ending March 28, from 650,250. * That was the highest reading since October 1982.
"Jobless claims are another really bad number. We have been seeing not just an elevated trend but an increasing trend. That is not good. We know the labor market is going to be a lagging indicator but we need to see the pace of job losses moderate soon if we are going to get a recovery.
"Following the ADP data we got yesterday, I think markets will be braced for a decline of 700,000 or more in non farm payrolls.
"Treasuries are looking at the stock market, which is poised to open higher. These numbers are not affecting the government bond market much."
"The employment data is still poor-- we saw that in Europe as well-- but I think the markets aren't responding to hard data right now. I think markets today will be focused more on confidence measures, and how confidence may be lifted.
"At the G20 meeting, I think investors have expectations for news about regulations, and I also think they'd like to see more aggressive stimulus policy. They want more concrete action on stimulus."
"This is bad. It needs to be countered against the rise in the U.S. population; as a percentage, it's not that bad.
"Continued claims is the more concerning matter. What it says to me is the persistence of unemployment. The unwillingness of the auto industry to adjust and the bubbles in housing and on Wall Street have led to a misallocation of house resources. It's more of a structural reallocation of resources, which could be worse than anything we've seen since the Great Depression."
MARKET REACTION: STOCKS: U.S. equity index futures pare gains slightly after jobless claims data. BONDS: U.S. Treasury debt prices steady at lower levels. DOLLAR: U.S. dollar little changed.

© Thomson Reuters 2009 All rights reserved.

Our Sponsors