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 decrease of 34,000 jobs 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 reports the following:
SEASONALLY ADJUSTED DATA
In the week ending Dec. 25, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 388,000, a decrease of 34,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 422,000. The 4-week moving average was 414,000, a decrease of 12,500 from the previous week’s revised average of 426,500.
The adjusted data shows an improvement for initial claims from the previous week’s revised figure, and it also shows that the 4 week moving average decreased indicating that the recent trend is getting better, but 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 521,834 in the week ending Dec. 25, an increase of 24,879 from the previous week. There were 556,517 initial claims in the comparable week in 2009.
Yes, you see that number correctly, over half a million new claims in one week alone and only slightly below the levels in 2009 during the peak of the recession. 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 whopping 67% 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?