In data released by the Department of Labor (DOL) this morning, continued weakening in the U.S. jobs market is indicated as New Claims, as viewed by this writer, continue to increase. Many media pundits will extol the slight decrease in the seasonally adjusted claims from the previous week as being a positive indicator. I find the other data available to be a more accurate portrayal of what is really happening.
New claims data from the DOL report follows:
SEASONALLY ADJUSTED DATA
In the week ending Dec. 18, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 420,000, a decrease of 3,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 423,000. The 4-week moving average was 426,000, an increase of 2,500 from the previous week’s revised average of 423,500.
Although the adjusted data shows a slight improvement for initial claims from the previous week’s revised figure, it also shows that the 4 week moving average increased by almost the same amount showing a trend that things are getting worse, not better. Additionally, when one looks at the unadjusted numbers, a much more severe weakening in the current job market is indicated:
The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 495,587 in the week ending Dec. 18, an increase of 5,311 from the previous week. There were 565,243 initial claims in the comparable week in 2009.
Yes, you see that number correctly, almost a half a million new claims in one week alone. This is a number well above a stable state number of 300-325,000 claims that would be expected in a healthy job market. Put differently, it is a 44% increase from what would be expected if the economy was stable.
For those that continue to believe that America ‘s long term unemployed and millions of 99ers should simply “just get a job,” their lack of understanding of the depth and breath of the jobs problem is almost unfathomable! America’s exceptionally weak job market is screaming for job creation programs and the expansion of unemployment benefits to provide assistance to millions of her 99ers that just cannot be expected to find a job in a market that not only has none, but continues to lose them at a very excessive rate.
Come on people, get with the program! Your sisters and brothers, aunts and uncles, mothers and fathers, neighbors, friends, and countrymen are suffering under some of the most abject levels of poverty since the Great Depression. Can we not do SOMETHING to correct this travesty?