Initial weekly unemployment claims for June 4, 2011

Initial weekly unemployment claims increased to 427,000, a 1,000 increase in a week. Additionally, last week was revised up to 426,000, from 422,000. The 4 week moving average is 424,000. A weekly average above 400,000 does not indicate job growth and we now have a pattern of initial unemployment insurance claims going backward, the wrong direction for jobs.



The magic number to show job creation is at minimum, below 400,000 initial unemployment claims per week and most Economists will quote 375,000.

Below is the mathematical log of initial weekly unemployment claims, so one can get a better sense of the rise and fall of the numbers. A log helps remove some statistical noise, it's kind of an averaging. As we can see we have a step rise during the height of the recession, but then a leveling, not a similar decline....for a long period. Instead, we have this yo-yo bobblehead, hovering too near 400,000 every week on initial claims, never ending labor malaise for most of the time after the recession ended in July 2009. Now, notice the tail or the right of the graph, it appears an upward slope, an increase in initial claims, which started to emerge in February. Claims is moving upward and is an established pattern. This week implies yet another bouncing workers ball uptick.



Below is the 4 week moving average, set to a logarithmic scale to remove even more statistical noise, for the last year. Again, we need the 4 week moving average to stay below 400,000 and keep dropping. Numerous economists say the number is 375,000 to show any job growth. We need this number to keep dropping, steadily and instead, it's going in the wrong direction.



Below is the 4 week moving average, set to a log scale, from April 1st, 2007. We are nowhere near pre-recession initial weekly unemployment claims levels.



Continuing unemployment claims dropped but bear in mind people can plain being running out of benefits.

The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending May 28 was 3,676,000, a decrease of 71,000 from the preceding week's revised level of 3,747,000. The 4-week moving average was 3,719,250, a decrease of 29,000 from the preceding week's revised average of 3,748,250.

In the week ending May 21st, not seasonally adjusted, the raw number was 7,601,344 official people obtaining some sort of unemployment insurance benefit.

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“benign unemployment numbers”

MSNBC is reporting that today's increase in the stock market index is in part the result of “benign unemployment numbers”.
They actually used the word "Benign" - are they on another planet, or just a different planetary economic class?
Even NDD over at Bonddad is concerned about unemployment not boding well for the economy.

"benign" numbers, why I write these overviews

It is astounding the spin I see in the financial press over these economic report releases. This is why I write them up. First, the government has their own websites and it's their data, their release so how someone can spin these to the extent they do is beyond me....

shows just how much spin goes into something more complex, such as a bill in Congress...

Esp. explaining movement in the stock market when 70% of all trades are robo trades in the first place.

This is not a benign report. Anything about 400k is absolutely not benign.