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Jobless benefit claims for Jan. 31, 2012
For the week ending Jan. 26, seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment compensation soared to 368,000, the Department of Labor reported Thursday. That was an increase of 38,000 from the previous week's unrevised figure of 330,000. Claims numbers have been especially volatile since they rose briefly to a 2012 high after Hurricane Sandy struck the East Coast. In the last two weeks they fell to a five-year low. This week they re-entered the range they were in for all of last year.

As usual, the four-week moving average flattened that volatility, which is why close observers prefer it over the weekly figure. That average rose to 352,000, an increase of 250 from the previous week.

For all programs, state and federally funded emergency extensions, the total number of people claiming benefits for the week ending Jan. 12 was 5,914,983, up 255,501 from the previous week. For the comparable week of 2012, there were 7,655,224 persons claiming benefits in all programs.

The latest numbers are no predictor of what the Bureau of Labor Statistics monthly report on jobs will show when it is released Friday morning because that report only covers data compiled up to Jan. 12.

A consensus of experts surveyed by Bloomberg forecasts that seasonally adjusted job creation clocked in at 185,000 and the unemployment rate fell to 7.7 percent in January. But the number of times the consensus has been wrong in the past five years, often way wrong, outnumbers the times it has been right. A report from Automated Data Processing released Wednesday put the seasonally adjusted number of new jobs created in the private sector in January at 192,000. The BLS report covers both private and government jobs.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 08:36 AM PST.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Which is why we must cut taxes and spending (12+ / 0-)

    And maybe start a new war or two...

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 08:46:25 AM PST

    •  I heard Iran has oil. And, Qatar just did a deal (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Deward Hastings, kovie, wader

      with Al Gore.  So now they're worth invading, too.  

      "If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin." Charles Darwin

      by Rockydog on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 08:58:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb bomb Iran... (0+ / 0-)

        Surfboards optional.

        "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

        by kovie on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 09:33:36 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Mali has gold, oil, uranium, oil, and gas. (0+ / 0-)

        And I'm pretty sure it's ours. Maybe some of it is the French's. And the UK's. Heck, let's just say "the white peoples" and sort out shares later.

        Then, when we've taken all the possible wealth we can, that wealth will Trickle Upon the lower castes and Unemployment will not be an issue.

        Markos! Not only are the Gates Not Crashed, they've fallen on us. Actual Representatives are what we urgently need, because we have almost none.

        by Jim P on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 10:07:20 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  This requires an emergency austerity program and (11+ / 0-)

    "tweaks" to SS and Medicare.

    “In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.” Terry Pratchett

    by 420 forever on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 08:49:14 AM PST

  •  Fun 50% facts (18+ / 0-)

    Half of all Americans are one financial shock away from poverty

    The bottom 50% of Americans own 1% of the nations wealth

    Half of all Americans die with no financial assets.

    Proud to live in America where at least I know I'm free.

    A standing army is like a standing member. It's an excellent assurance of domestic tranquility, but a dangerous temptation to foreign adventure. Elbridge Gerry - Constitutional Convention (1787)

    by No Exit on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 08:50:50 AM PST

    •  Only half? (0+ / 0-)

      Or does that not count Americans already in poverty, which is around 15%, or was as of september 2011, the most recent stats I can find.

    •  A couple of devils advocate comments: (0+ / 0-)

      1. Most Americans in their young adult years creep forward a decade or more "one financial shock away from poverty" or, IOW, they're starting out. Most financially secure people lived the first third or even half of their lives from check to check.

      2. To die with no financial assets is a key goal of good retirement planning, or IOW, having exactly enough to live out one's years to the end and still spend enough in your lifetime to have the quality of life one wishes.

      3. Around 60% of all Americans are not in the workforce (e.g., children, elderly, retirees, disabled, unemployed) and are dependents of either other working adults, living "off the grid", or recipients of federal transfer payments. Therefore it's impossible to find the meaning or value of the "The bottom 50% of Americans own 1% of the nations wealth" statement.

      None of my comments is meant to excuse wealth or income inequality, a primary and growing fatal flaw in the US economy, beyond its immorality.

  •  outliers? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jim P

    data blips?

    or just a long slow haul?

    Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

    by a gilas girl on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 08:57:27 AM PST

    •  Steven Benen at the Maddow Blog nails it (5+ / 0-)
      To reiterate the point I make every Thursday morning, it's worth remembering that week-to-week results can vary widely, and it's best not to read too much significance into any one report.

      In terms of metrics, when jobless claims fall below the 400,000 threshold, it's considered evidence of an improving jobs landscape, and when the number drops below 370,000, it suggests jobs are being created rather quickly. We've been below the 370,000 threshold seven of the last eight weeks.
    •  The Previous Great Depression (0+ / 0-)

      had blips up and down all throughout. To say we had a recovery based on quarter-to-quarter GDP numbers is just plain cuckoo-land.

      On earth, a) by both absolute numbers and percentages people have steadily been getting worse off since 2004, and b) if, next week, the entire population had to get cancer treatments after having storms destroy their homes, the GDP would skyrocket.

      We're in a Depression, and it's staying that way until our wages can compete with slave-wages in the global marketplace. And on this Neoliberals and Conservatives agree.

      Markos! Not only are the Gates Not Crashed, they've fallen on us. Actual Representatives are what we urgently need, because we have almost none.

      by Jim P on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 10:13:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  That depends on who's asking, eh? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a gilas girl

      The pubic can simply use these metrics as a barometer of how things are going, without overreacting, without undue optimism, and IMO with a demands for a response that sits well with the picture.

      Those who are responsible for actual actions changing the US economy (e.g., WH, Treasury, Federal Reserve,  Governors on a state level) are supposed to be ahead of such metrics and, in a rational world, would be expected to respond today to these numbers with respect to their action plans and what changes are underway, or that a discerning participatory press and public would demand, that predicts positive changes.

      It could take a demanding public to even just maintain the predicted long (10-15 years) hard slog, given no federal infrastructure investments are planned.

      I could be wrong but I hear no action plan regarding jobs from DC or in my state, Sacramento. On the one hand this data is not unexpected,  but that still a problem IMO.

  •  More stimulus needed... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fumie, 3goldens, Jim P, PorridgeGun

    Shame we spent the last few years empowering deficit scolds by adopting their language/framing.


  •  $70 Billion, with a "B" being withdrawn early (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jim P, Meteor Blades

    annually from 401K retirement accounts to pay household bills.

    That says a lot about the health of the economy and what is happening to middle class wages.

    Oregon:'s cold. But it's a damp cold.

    by Keith930 on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 09:43:25 AM PST

  •  Noisy weekly UI claim nos...meanwhile... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    freesia, Jim P, tapu dali, denise b

    ...our focus upon these metrics belies far too many greater, inconvenient truths...and, don't look too closely at the quality of the actual jobs being created! Generally speaking, they're quite low-paying, and supplanting better paying jobs for many. The new normal: a natural rate of unemployment/employment in the 7% range. (But, MB, you know all of this.)

    Same thing holds for the monthly, BLS employment situation reports.

    "Housing's recovering..." ...more specifically, in metro areas .(i.e.: Florida, Arizona, California) where PE firms like Blackstone, and other Wall Street firms, see the biggest potential for speculative/potential margin opp's. The story that's not being told here is if it wasn't for Wall Street capturing their tithe--coming and going--there would be no (faux) housing "recovery," at all

    And, income inequality, like housing, and joblessness, worsens (despite the false narrative to the contrary).

    The rentier class, supported more by taxpayers with every passing day, amasses profits by leaps and bounds; serfdom flourishes; the rich get much richer. The unwashed masses suffer more and more...but, don't look too close.

    These ARE facts,propaganda meme to the contrary.

    This is Poli-Sci 101, writ large.

    It doesn't have to be this way...but it is...and it's getting far worse.

    As you say: "...the glass is broken."

    "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

    by bobswern on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 09:44:28 AM PST

    •  Meanwhile, qtrly GDP nos... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jim P, denise b

      ...which are just as bad--if not far worse--of an indication of what's actually occurring in our society, just moved into negative territory for the first time (off the top of my head) since 2009?!

      This myopic obsession with stats belies greater truths...such as the "touting-of-the-stock-market" meme, which has now taken hold of the MSM's economic narrative.

      We're just about where we were in the DOW in December 2007...oh, wait!

      And, don't talk about the fact that the top 10% (give or take), own somewhere in the neighborhood of 90%+ of all the marketable securities in this country!

      I really stand in awe of politicians and and folks spinning this irrationally exuberant market crap, in general when, in fact, it's just an obscured reinforcement of trickle-down economic thought! ("The market's doing great! Isn't that awesome!?")

      "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

      by bobswern on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 09:55:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I thought it was interesting (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        One day consumer confidence dropped and all the commentators were scrambling to find an explanation for something so irrational. The next day they announced that the economy had contracted.

        We decided to move the center farther to the right by starting the whole debate from a far-right position to begin with. - Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay

        by denise b on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 01:01:18 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Just wait'll next week's figures (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bink, Jim P, 420 forever, Meteor Blades

    which will include month-end. I know I'll be one of those applicants.

    Ever been let go by phone? It sucks...

    It is time to #Occupy Media.

    by lunachickie on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 09:53:51 AM PST

  •  steeply rises and droppings seem to be deeply, (0+ / 0-)

    and discreetly and obliquely and weakly,  but neatly used by experts to convince those of us, who feel they see the forest, but not the trees, that they can' see all the trees, but rarely the whole forest.

    Horrible comment, I know,  but I feel a pity and sympathy for those who have for professional reasons write about these weekly numbers.

  •  Darn! Republicans were hoping for recession BEFORE (0+ / 0-)

    the election. Now, it doesn't do them as much good to crash the economy.

    In fact, their austerity spending cuts may just push us into a double dip before the midterms, which would result in the end of their hopes to control the House or Senate, possibly forever.

    Just doing my part to piss off right wing nuts, one smart ass comment at a time.

    by tekno2600 on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 12:04:47 PM PST

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