Weekly Unemployment Claims Show No Job Growth

Another week, another bit of bad news for workers and the stagnant economy drone continues. Initial weekly unemployment claims for the week ending on July 14, 2012 were 386,000,. The DOL reports this as an increase of 34,000 from last week's revised figure of 352,000 people filing for unemployment benefits. Initial claims for unemployment insurance are stagnating, not declining as needed, as seen in the below chart. Clearly last week was a fluke, due to less layoffs in factories that commonly retool.

 

 

The four week moving average is now 375,500, pretty much the break even point to indicate job creation. Weekly Claims are always revised due to the time lag for individual states reporting their claims data. Additionally, the unemployment filings statistic is just a one week time window. Below is the four week moving average graph.

 

 

The magic number to show job creation is at minimum, below 375,000 initial unemployment claims, per week and the United States is above that number.

Below is the mathematical log of initial weekly unemployment claims. A log helps remove some statistical noise, it's kind of an averaging and gives a better sense of a pattern. As we can see we have a step rise during the height of the recession, but then a leveling where every week initial unemployment insurance claims hover around 375,000-400,000, a very slow decline, or fat tail with now another hovering around 375,000. We have a never ending job market malaise, we just cannot get initial claims to drop to the levels they need to be in order to really show some job growth. The recession ended officially in July 2009.

 

 

Below is the four week moving average, set to a log scale, from April 1st, 2007. Here we can see we still are not at pre-recession initial weekly unemployment claims levels. If anyone recalls, even before the Great Recession the job market was not so hot.

 

 

Continuing unemployment claims didn't budge, and we have large long term unemployed.

The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending July 7 was 3,314,000, an increase of 1,000 from the preceding week's revised level of 3,313,000. The 4-week moving average was 3,311,750, an increase of 1,000 from the preceding week's revised average of 3,310,750.

In the week ending June 30th, not seasonally adjusted, the official number of people obtaining some sort of unemployment insurance benefit was 5,752,116. Officially, there are 12.75 million unemployed.

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Nothing will change even after the election

I fear nothing will change. In 2007-2008, everyone was blaming Lehman Bros. and Wall Street woes for initial cliff. As well as property bubble. Okay, fine. 2008 the MSM/political/corp. meme was "uncertainty" about election. Fine. 2009-2010 "uncertainty" about election + tax cuts. Fine. 2010 Republicans take House, no more "uncertainty" about election, but now they find new "uncertainty" about tax cuts + Obamacare despite new Congress and Pres. promising again and again jobs #1 focus. 2010-present "uncertainty" apparently previously unknown but now center on Eurozone, Wall Street still has its head up its ass/problems (because no one knew that?), apparently there's another election (because who can predict elections happening every 2 and 4 years except anyone who knows the electoral cycle for the last 200+ years), etc.

Here's what's not uncertain - large MNCs keep sending thousands of jobs overseas and pulling in record profits and both parties are okay with that, including both candidates for Pres. And, to top it off, the CEOs and banksters are certainly pulling in record salaries and bonuses on time with no uncertainty while blaming uncertainty for everything else - but they don't like being questioned about that paradox.

Here's what's certain so all the talking heads and political sock puppets can retire and stop wasting our time and money - both parties need to bring jobs back to the US, punish and/or disincentivize outsourcing and other destroyers of America's future, reinstate Glass-Steagall, punish criminal wrongdoing in corporate America like every other crime, and raise enough taxes so that those enjoying the US legal system and govt. protection through incorporation here can also help fund American localities, counties, states, and the fed. govt. and ease the burden on those currently struggling. And politicians in both parties that are blatantly corrupt and/or tax cheats need to be made an example of with prison time (e.g., Rangel - really, writing tax code?). "Job creators" admit they aren't job creators, they are enjoying record profits and admit they are only in it to make profits, so only an idiot would continue to look to them to create jobs in the US- they won't and have no reason to.
There are structural and cyclical problems that all the tax cuts and QE "fixes" won't do anything for - they only enrich those in banking and the top tiers that have access to the free cash from the Fed and/or access to lobbyists. As has also been discussed here and elsewhere repeatedly by blogs and the millions of unemployed, there is no skills shortage, so move on from that canard. There is no educational problem here that prevents hiring, so move on from that lie. The rest of America is dying every single day these fundamental issues aren't addressed. Every educated, caring citizen knows what they are and lives them every day.

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The media is focused on Yahoo! CEO and ignores average workers

It's surreal, almost all Americans outside boardrooms are struggling to keep low-paying jobs or find any job or stay in their homes without losing them - weekly claims just prove it on a regular basis. People would literally work for free in an internship as a CEO with all the skills and experience CEOs are paid $20-$100 million to perform for the experience and recognition. What unemployed engineer or MBA with incredibly impressive skills wouldn't want to turn around Yahoo! for a tiny fraction of a CEO's pay? I mean we have people working for free in their 50s with PhDs in "internships" with no other options for paying jobs facing homelessness, so the logic carries. But the media and especially business media is going bonkers over the new CEO taking over Yahoo! and who stands to earn $70 million in stocks, salary, and other compensation. They look at one woman and ask questions about, "Can women have it all," stating "Isn't it great!" and already laying the groundwork for excuses if she is simply unable to turn around Yahoo! (after all, she's only one woman). Meanwwhile, how many men and women worker drones at Yahoo! will she fire, or will have to be fired to cut costs to help pay that compensation? How many workers are fired because they are pregnant, or won't get hired because they are over 35? At what point does the media care that America will live and die by what the average worker does and earns and how he/she is treated before getting hired and during a job, not what interlocking corporate boards do when they dump piles of cash on people no matter whether they succeed or fail? These boards and corporate HR all protect and enrich each other - as long as no one criticizes the way they work, they will stay protected and permanently above struggling America.

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CEO worship

I have no idea, beyond PR companies pushing these stories, why anyone is interested in CEOs, beyond this one being a pregnant woman. But generally, it's absolutely nuts and has been so ongoing 30 years, little "mini Gods", prime example was Steve Jobs.

Sign of the times, can anyone think of a CEO from the 1950's that was considered more omnipotent than God?

Good point, pregnant women, single mothers are hugely discriminated against in the workplace but as we all know, the rules do not apply for anyone labeled "executive" or "ruling class".

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initial unemployment claims seasonality, noise, layoffs

There are some in the press trying to claim this week's initial unemployment claims number is a fluke. As we point out, repeatedly, one cannot look at just a week's worth of data on this economic metric. That's why we have so many graphs removing statistical noise and showing the moving monthly average over time.

So, if one looks at the larger timeline, we see initial unemployment claims are simply not dropping as needed. Both these past two weeks can be a "fluke" but this week's numbers are more in line with the slope of the graph, in other words, the headline of this post is reasonable. It's not auto layoffs, it's not the hot weather and so on. America is simply not creating enough jobs.

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