Initial Claims for Unemployment Just Won't Budge, 382,000 for Week of September 15th , 2012

Initial unemployment claims continue to show never ending U.S. worker malaise. Initial weekly unemployment claims for the week ending on September 15th, 2012 were 382,000,. While the DOL reports this as an decrease of 3,000 from last week's revised figure of 385,000, last week was actually revised upwards by 3,000, so one might look at this as no change. Initial claims is always revised and almost always upwards.



The four week moving average is now 377,750, pretty much the break even point to indicate any 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.



There is a correlation, with a time lag, of initial unemployment claims and payroll jobs. To see this relationship, the below graph shows the change in payrolls (in blue, scale to the right) against the monthly average of initial unemployment claims four week moving average (in maroon, scale to the left). We took a magic number of 400,000 initial claims as the zero inflection point. Anything above the zero line means less than 400,000 filed for unemployment benefits, anything below zero means more than 400,000 initial unemployment claims were filed, on average for the month. What we see is a strong correlation to payrolls being above 100,000 monthly if initial unemployment claims drops below 400,000. For more details see this article.



As the above graph shows, when taking the average 4-week moving average, to create any jobs at all, initial unemployment claims needs to be below 400,000. To really get some real job creation, the magic number for the 4-week moving average is 360,000. The number of jobs needed each month just to keep up with population growth varies, but the minimum is about 100,000. For more details on the number of jobs needed to keep up with the U.S. increasing population, read this article.

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, then a very slow decline, or fat tail with the change increasing slightly. What we need to see is a sharp drop off, not the shape of graph below. 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 seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.6 percent for the week ending September 8, unchanged from the prior week's unrevised rate. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending September 8 was 3,272,000, a decrease of 32,000 from the preceding week's revised level of 3,304,000. The 4-week moving average was 3,309,750, a decrease of 12,000 from the preceding week's revised average of 3,321,750.

In the week ending September 1st, not seasonally adjusted, the official number of people obtaining some sort of unemployment insurance benefit was 5,173,597. Officially, there are 12.8 million unemployed.

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The fall of the Republic continues - BOA laying off 16,000 too

Scary thing is that's a number that keeps on getting added to the previously unemployed. I don't even know where there are so many jobs existing these days for 350,00 + to be fired per week.

Meanwhile, Bank of America aka Unindicted Bankster Coconspirator aka TBTF/Too Idiotic To Succeed without Taxpayers' $ aka Robosigner/Fraudclosure Mill is laying off 16,000 by the end of the year. Call me cynical, but are 16,000 new positions going to suddenly open up in India or the Philippines? Try as it might, BOA just couldn't find Americans worthy of keeping their jobs, but people overseas with fewer skills and education will certainly be hired right away, no questions asked. Hmmm, Bank of America, another "job creator." Yup, I love that phrase, makes me sick everytime I hear it or write it. Oh well, at least the corporate board and officers are safe - and that's all that really counts in this Banana Republic of Corruption in 2012, isn't it?

I wonder, why doesn't the MSM ever cover the people dying as a result of long-term unemployment (and I'm not talking about people who still have homes or have semi-decent health on "60 Minutes"), but people who died from lack of medical care, suicides, killed after becoming homeless after losing their jobs, broke the law to survive or just to find a home in jail or prison vs. homelessness? Do those millions of very real but unhappy stories not sell i-crap or the newest Audi (probably being built in China now or soon) or some other unncecessary item most people no longer want or can afford? Oh well, back to Bravo TV's "Top Chef" where I can watch people dressed nicely moan about a foam dish not being up to their standards for plates based on a large part of air and then Fox and MSNBC. I'm a leech and I know it because I can't afford to donate $50,000 to either candidate, I wish I could emulate my betters in politics and boardrooms, you know, the ones killing our country every single day, they're all so very smart, patriotic with their nice flag lapel pins, ethical, intelligent, and hardworking. It's us out here in the rest of America that deserve to suffer I guess.


How about I put together some of the statistics and stories I can round up. It's true, this is literally killing people.

Also, yes, there are a host of layoffs and a lot of jobs...going to China. Yuppers!

I should also point out, these graphs are not true correlation, which I should probably run and put up a graph of. There is a little mathematical metric called cross correlation and covariance, which is the "official" way to show correlation. That said, one can see the matching patterns when I put up the "two lines". (for the math nerds out there).

If you have statistics, personal stories on how this economy and policies are literally killing people, just email me. I happen to know of a woman who committed suicide after being denied a tech job in favor of H-1B workers and she's not the only one.

Stories of desperation and hopelessness has hundreds and hundreds of stories. Just type in "unemployment" and words like "suicide"; "outsourcing"; "overqualified"; "homeless"; "long-term"; or "age discrimination" and incredibly sad stories come up. Those stories are obviously meant for that site and were submitted for that site (so I wouldn't link to them because not sure if the people would want other sites linking to it, but they are there to be read), but reading the stories there is pretty tragic. Unemployed-friends2 was also another site, and there are other places too that people share. Plus nowadays news articles that blame the unemployed and tell them to just fix their resume or be more positive I find are followed by people telling the author to basically stop spewing Candyland crap. The thing is people in really bad spots will lose their homes and won't really care to go to the library to sign on the Internet and share their stories when they no longer have any hope, there are only so many times you can tell your tale and receive complete silence before people figure no one really gives a sh*t, or at least the people who could do anything don't. Plus the shame of being seen in public, or around people they might recognize, after they've lost everything after 3, 4, or 5 years of nothing stops them from going out anywhere (e.g., a library).

Even if the bastards in power that could do anything won't because they really don't care and it would take a few dollars from their pockets, at least other people in the same spot would at least know they aren't alone. I think that's a really important part of it, because now with people in suburbs or rural areas and no soup lines or gathering spots for the long-term unemployed with the Internet and SNAP cards and other modern tools changing things from the Great Depression I, people out there feel they are somehow to blame if they aren't getting one interview after 20-30 years of work, 2000 applications, this degree or that, etc. At least the stories bring some comfort to them, and when we have complete scum blaming the unemployed for their own problems instead of those making and enforcing policies, at least the stories and the numbers can bring some measure of comfort to those suffering, even if it won't change the minds of script readers in corporate TV studios.