"WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - The number of people filing first-time
claims for unemployment benefits fell 31,000 to 473,000 in the latest
week, the first decline in one month, according to data from the Labor
Department issued Thursday. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had
expected initial claims to drop to 490,000 in the week ended Aug 21.
The four-week average of initial claims -- a better gauge of
employment trends than the volatile weekly number -- rose slightly, up
3,250 to 486,750. Altogether, 10.2 million people were collecting some
type of unemployment benefits in the week ended Aug. 7, up from 9.9
million, the government reported." (from story on MarketWatch.com)
Let me interpret the above BAD news for you. As I said last week--and
say almost every week--the volatile weekly number on new unemployment
claims never goes straight up or straight down. It is an ADJUSTED
number--adjusted for "seasonal factors"--and glitches in that
adjustment alone, in combination with the volatile timing of layoffs,
mean that the weekly number (released every Thursday, for a previous
week) of new unemployment claims bounces around. That is why the
above quoted paragraph tells you that the four week average is the
more reliable guide to the TREND. That four week average went UP, to
486,0000--at its highest level in more than eight months.
The AVERAGE of the weekly new unemployment claims for all of December
was 455,000. You will notice that the average for the past 4 weeks
is 486,000--meaning that this measure of LAYOFFS in the economy is
averaging 31,000 HIGHER over the past four weeks than in December.
In other words the labor situation has not only NOT IMPROVED in NINE
MONTHS, but it has gotten WORSE over the past month--considerably
Note that the previous week's REPORTED number is REVISED every week.
I--and essentially ONLY me--have informed you of the amazingly
consistent pattern for the weekly number to be revised UP by 3,000 or
4,000 almost every week. I was right again--in foresight. Last
week's truly terrible (if probably slightly overstated because of the
weekly volatility) number of 500,000 reported new unemployment
claims was REVISED this week to be 504,000 (an even worse number).
Thus, this is the sad reading of the number of new unemployment claims
for the past four weeks: 482,0000 (revised up from 479,000), 488,000
(revised up from 482,000), 504,000 (revised up from 500,000), and
473,000 (not yet revised--although you may expect an UPWARD revision
if the pattern holds). The previous two weekly numbers were 460,000
and 468,000--indicating how BADLY the TREND has deteriorated. The
473,000--even if it holds--is a HIGH number in the range that has
been seen in the weekly numbers during this period of NO IMPROVEMENT
over the past nine months. It is the LOWEST number in the past four
weeks--indicating just how BAD those four weeks have been.
Multiple 486,000 by FOUR. That is the number of jobs President Obama
has LOST in the past four weeks (approaching two million, as the
headline says). But--you sputter--those are GROSS jobs. And how can
I blame Obama. I can blame Obama, and his apologists and
sycophants--because I am using their STANDARDS (except I am using real
numbers, and theirs are made up). Obama is claiming "credit" for 3.9
million or 3.5 million, or whatever--the dishonest number keeps
changing) jobs "saved/created" by the Obama/Democrat "stimulus".
Unlike, the almost two million jobs lost over the past four weeks,
there is NO "reported" set of numbers that adds up to those alleged 3
million jobs "saved/created". That is an ESTIMATE, based on
questionable assumptions. More importantly, it is GROSS JOBS--just
like the almost two million jobs LOST in the past 4 weeks. If Obama
wants to claim "credit" for GROSS JOBS "saved/created", should he not
take the blame for gross jobs LOST? Of course he should take the
blame. Anything else is DISHONEST. But how do we KNOW that the jobs
lost would not have been lost anyway, without Obama? We don't. But
neither do we know that the gross jobs "created/saved" would not have
been "created/saved" without Obama. More fundamentally, we don't know
how many jobs Obama is COSTING by his "stimulus". In other words,
without the "stimulus", there is every reason to believe that OTHER
jobs would have been "created/saved". Just like with the housing
credit, all the government "stimulus" has done is MOVE jobs in a
particular manner to BUY VOTES. The only thing that matters is NET
JOBS, and in that area Obama and the Democrats have FAILED miserably.
In fact, there is no doubt at all that many Obama policies are JOB
KILLERS (health care bill, oil drilling moratorium, high deficits and
debt, proposed higher taxes on the "rich" and corporations, etc.).
Nope. The entire contention that the Obama "stimulus" has been a
success is a JOKE. My headline is actually MORE accurate than that.
Notice that "economists" had "predicted" 490,000 new unemployment
claims. Does that not mean that this week's number is "good
news"--better than "expected"? .....................Sorry. I was
rolling on the floor laughing. "Economists" and "analysts" are NEVER
right. They were not right the previous three weeks, and they were not
right this week. That simply tells you that these people HAVE NO
CLUE--something which should convince you that the government has NO
ability to run our economy. These "economists", who are ALWAYS wrong
(except by accident), are the very people who we are told can figure
out how to run the economy better than the free market.
Nope. The only sense in which this week's new unemployment claims
number is "good news" is that the previous three weeks had indicated
that we might be in a DEATH SPIRAL. This week's "decline" of 31,000
in new unemployment claims merely indicates that last week's 504,000
was probably overstated on the upside. Note that the average for the
two weeks is pretty much the same as the average for the two previous
weeks. But at least we are not continuing to get worse every
week--something that would indicate that we were likely heading into a
DEPRESSION. But look at the number of people collecting some form of
unemployment. That number went UP to 10.3 million, from 9.9 million.
And the housing news this week has been abysmal. There is simply no
way this is good news. It is just not quite as bad as it could have
been. The TREND is still terrible.