Weekly jobless claims “unexpectedly” rise again?

posted at 9:30 am on June 9, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

For the eighth week in a row, the number of initial jobless claims remained in the 420K range, according to the Department of Labor’s report today.  Last week saw a slight increase of just 1,000 to the number of new claims from the previous week, which got revised upward by 4,000 from the previous week’s initial report:

In the week ending June 4, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 427,000, an increase of 1,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 426,000. The 4-week moving average was 424,000, a decrease of 2,750 from the previous week’s revised average of 426,750.

The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.9 percent for the week ending May 28, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point from the prior week’s unrevised rate of 3.0 percent.

The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending May 28 was 3,676,000, a decrease of 71,000 from the preceding week’s revised level of 3,747,000. The 4-week moving average was 3,719,250, a decrease of 29,000 from the preceding week’s revised average of 3,748,250.

This puts the last two weeks at more or less the same level as the weeks before.  The 420-430K level appears to be the “new normal” for 2011, a little below the 440-460K level of 2010 but above the 380K range we saw in the first quarter of this year.  Whatever initially pushed the claim levels upward in April was not a fluke, but instead a real retreat on job creation in the economy.

The only people surprised by what is essentially a status-quo report are the economists at Reuters, where they break out the U word again … and again … and again (via Steve Eggleston):

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose last week, according to a report on Thursday that could reinforce fears the labor market recovery has stalled.

Initial claims for state jobless benefits increased 1,000 to 427,000, the Labor Department said. However, economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims dropping to 415,000 from a previously reported count of 422,000.

Exactly what drove them to predict a drop in the jobless-claims rate?  The only reason I can think that one could have “expected” a drop in claims is because the week in question had a major holiday (Memorial Day), which tends to suppress claims.  It’s worth considering that next week may actually be worse for that reason.

However, if Reuters’ Wizengamot expected a drop for economic reasons, I’d really like to know what those were.  There hasn’t been a positive economic indicator for weeks, inventories are at record levels, and gas prices are sapping discretionary income.  What positive news would have boosted hiring, as Reuters’ economists expected?

Or, for that matter, Bloomberg’s?

U.S. initial jobless claims unexpectedly rose last week, a sign that the labor market is struggling to gain traction.

Jobless claims increased by 1,000 to 427,000 in the week ended June 4, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News projected a drop in claims to 419,000, according to the median forecast. The number of people on unemployment benefit rolls and those receiving extended payments decreased. …

The median forecast was based on a survey of 49 economists. Estimates ranged from 400,000 to 430,000. The Labor Department revised the prior week’s figure to 426,000 from the 422,000 initially reported.

Seriously, fellas.  Time to find new economists.

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

How can they continue to say “unexpectedly” with a straight face?

Alden Pyle on June 9, 2011 at 9:33 AM

This is almost becoming a checklist.

Steve Eggleston on June 9, 2011 at 9:35 AM

The hits just keep on coming, don’t they?

Thanks again, Obama voters, for inflicting these clueless clowns on the nation.

AZCoyote on June 9, 2011 at 9:35 AM

Obama is AWESOME!!!!!!

Baxter Greene on June 9, 2011 at 9:35 AM

Welcome to the NEW NORMAL…

Kuffar on June 9, 2011 at 9:36 AM

The only thing “unexpected” about the economy is if it actually improved while bo is prez.

tim c on June 9, 2011 at 9:37 AM

Seriously, fellas. Time to find new economists.

The current crop of “economists” should have been fired last year.

GarandFan on June 9, 2011 at 9:38 AM

I just wrote yahoo news a letter asking them if they’re not aware just how stupid it is to keep using the word “unexpectedly” every week for the past 18 months. No, I’m not expecting a reply.

Keemo on June 9, 2011 at 9:38 AM

How can they continue to say “unexpectedly” with a straight face?

Alden Pyle on June 9, 2011 at 9:33 AM

They’ve had a lot of practice.

Eren on June 9, 2011 at 9:38 AM

How can they continue to say “unexpectedly” with a straight face?

Alden Pyle on June 9, 2011 at 9:33 AM

They could say “unprecedented”, but they have already driven that one into the ground.

pilamaye on June 9, 2011 at 9:38 AM

Next week’s numbers should include Rep. Weiner and his formally extended staff.

WashJeff on June 9, 2011 at 9:38 AM

Unexpected!
(almost
Inconceivable!)

You keep using that word. I don’t think it means what you think it means.
————————————————————–
But on the bright side, 0bama is now bombing randomly in Yemen, and Iran is two months away from testing their first home-made nuke.

LegendHasIt on June 9, 2011 at 9:38 AM

Tru dat Alden…..

cmsinaz on June 9, 2011 at 9:38 AM

Whatever initially pushed the claim levels upward in April was not a fluke, but instead a real retreat on job creation in the economy.

…nothing but a “bump in the road” Captain….
…………a “rough patch”..…..
We are “headed in the right direction.”

………..pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

Baxter Greene on June 9, 2011 at 9:39 AM

Focused like a laser.

And we will not rest.

Let me be clear.

Unexpected.

Wander on June 9, 2011 at 9:39 AM

Did the redhead with the cell phone get a job?

Dingbat63 on June 9, 2011 at 9:40 AM

However, if Reuters’ Wizengamot expected a drop for economic reasons, I’d really like to know what those were.

I’m willing to bet the “economists” Reuters polled was a couple of random people who happened to be walking through the accounting department in Reuters home office.

ButterflyDragon on June 9, 2011 at 9:40 AM

Whatever initially pushed the claim levels upward in April was not a fluke,

That’s about the time the FED’s printing that began last year had time to make it’s way throughout the economy. The impact on jobs was entirely predictable. Bernanke is a Keynesian tool.

flyfisher on June 9, 2011 at 9:41 AM

Well we all know the reason they keep saying negative economic news is “unexpected”(nothing bad should happen with Obama as President). The real headscratcher is why they’d continue to play dumb 2 1/2 years into the man’s term. I guess they figure they’re all in at this point. May as well go down with the ship.

Doughboy on June 9, 2011 at 9:41 AM

LegendHasIt on June 9, 2011 at 9:38 AM

I AM INIGO MONTOYA. PREPARE TO DIE.

TC@LeatherPenguin on June 9, 2011 at 9:41 AM

Weirdly NRO is using the same image as the one on the hot-air home page for this story this morning.

gh on June 9, 2011 at 9:42 AM

Remember Gallup puts the real unemployment at 19.2% ….

tarpon on June 9, 2011 at 9:42 AM

The median forecast was based on a survey of 49 economists activists.

Baxter Greene on June 9, 2011 at 9:43 AM

How can they continue to say “unexpectedly” with a straight face?

Alden Pyle on June 9, 2011 at 9:33 AM

I think Reuters saw how much the Associated Press has been shilling for Obama and the left the last couple of years and has upped the ante so they’re not left out in the cold.

ButterflyDragon on June 9, 2011 at 9:43 AM

Focused like a laser.

And we will not rest.

Let me be clear.

Unexpected.

Not worried.

Just a statistic

gonnjos on June 9, 2011 at 9:44 AM

We need a thread entitled something like “I will focus like a laser on job creation” if for no other reason than to give us all something we can copy/paste and spread around the country as a reminder of the promise made my Obama on at least two occasions. The man made a promise and should be held accountable.

Keemo on June 9, 2011 at 9:45 AM

we reached Clark Griswold for complete analysis for this “unexpected” turn in the economy: http://poorrichardsnews.com/post/6352800180/jobless-claims-unexpectedly-rise-again-clark

poorrichardsnews on June 9, 2011 at 9:48 AM

…seems like a pretty good time to concentrate on bailing out Greece and funding the muslim brotherhood in the Middle East…..

Baxter Greene on June 9, 2011 at 9:50 AM

…seems like a pretty good time to concentrate on bailing out Greece and funding the muslim brotherhood in the Middle East…..

Baxter Greene on June 9, 2011 at 9:50 AM

Yep, onward ho with the agenda…

Keemo on June 9, 2011 at 9:53 AM

“Unexpectedly”

Inigo Montoya:

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

mjd6852 on June 9, 2011 at 9:53 AM

That “bump in the road” is starting to rise up like a mountain range

Trafalgar on June 9, 2011 at 9:54 AM

I would say that the economy’s being in a dumper is historic. Pass the Slurpee, please.

onlineanalyst on June 9, 2011 at 9:56 AM

At this point, I think the writers of these pieces are in on the joke.

A Balrog of Morgoth on June 9, 2011 at 9:56 AM

I keep putting the arsenic in the well. Why is everybody getting sicker. //

Slowburn on June 9, 2011 at 9:58 AM

President Dinkins

A Balrog of Morgoth on June 9, 2011 at 9:59 AM

B+

Oil Can on June 9, 2011 at 9:59 AM

427,000 people unexpectedly (to them, at least) lost their jobs last week.

cartooner on June 9, 2011 at 9:59 AM

I’m seriously worried about Fiona, the redhead with a three year old phone.

Fallon on June 9, 2011 at 10:00 AM

I’m seriously worried about Fiona, the redhead with a three year old phone.

Fallon on June 9, 2011 at 10:00 AM

You named her?

darwin-t on June 9, 2011 at 10:02 AM

I’m seriously worried about Fiona, the redhead with a three year old phone. Fallon on June 9, 2011 at 10:00 AM

Why? She’s not pictured this week so maybe she got a job? Or maybe she got a new smart phone and got Weiner Tweets and is getting hush money?

Dingbat63 on June 9, 2011 at 10:05 AM

President Obama woke up this morning to discover, unexpectedly, that the economy still sucks.

cartooner on June 9, 2011 at 10:07 AM

You named her?

darwin-t on June 9, 2011 at 10:02 AM

Yup. She needed a name so politicians can say, “A young woman named “Fiona” called my office and she said… lie, lie, lie.”

Personalize the pain.

Fallon on June 9, 2011 at 10:08 AM

Next week’s numbers should include Rep. Weiner and his formally extended staff.

WashJeff on June 9, 2011 at 9:38 AM

The guy with a suit near the end of the line looks sort of like him. We could only wish!

jwolf on June 9, 2011 at 10:08 AM

Or maybe she got a new smart phone and got Weiner Tweets and is getting hush money?

Dingbat63 on June 9, 2011 at 10:05 AM

Oh, I hope so…? Er, sheesh, this is hard, um, difficult. Morality paradigm shift, again?

Fallon on June 9, 2011 at 10:10 AM

Why do Reuters and AP not think they are destroying their reputation with the constant use of “unexpected?” Do they think we are that stupid and have no memory?

On the other hand the “spread the wealth” did get 52% of the vote while claiming not to be a marxist (and autocorrect, I’m not capitalizing that bastard’s appellation) and there are an awful lot of stoners out there, causing short term memory loss. . .

rbj on June 9, 2011 at 10:14 AM

. . . and again, two major media outlets are blatantly enabling the incompetent in the White House.

rplat on June 9, 2011 at 10:21 AM

Fore!

–King Barky I

james23 on June 9, 2011 at 10:23 AM

To the Reuters’ economists the increase in the jobless claims was totally unexpected in a week where all the real rise had been about a weiner.

Yoop on June 9, 2011 at 10:30 AM

What part of $3.5/gal do these idiots not understand?

$4.0/gal got us the great recession….the economy was weaker this time. $3.5/gal started the double dip……and after the next recovery if nothing is done then gas of $3.00/gal will cause the next one.

unseen on June 9, 2011 at 10:32 AM

Did the redhead with the cell phone get a job?

Dingbat63 on June 9, 2011 at 9:40 AM

Yes, cart girl at Fort Belvoir golf course.

John Deaux on June 9, 2011 at 10:36 AM

The new unemployment claim filings number is not unexpected if you’re actually paying attention. Going into this week, there was a 68.2% chance of the number falling between 417,800 and 439,400.

ironman on June 9, 2011 at 10:46 AM

Don’t they know about headwinds?

docflash on June 9, 2011 at 10:47 AM

PBHO to unexpectly lose the 2012 general election…

Khun Joe on June 9, 2011 at 10:48 AM

Seriously, fellas. Time to find new economists.

Oh they will, sometime in early 2013 they’ll go looking for the “good news is at best unexpected but usually hiding horrible news” “economists”. That or they’ll just change the words they put into the same economists’ mouths.

jarodea on June 9, 2011 at 11:03 AM

What part of $3.5/gal do these idiots not understand?

$4.0/gal got us the great recession….the economy was weaker this time. $3.5/gal started the double dip……and after the next recovery if nothing is done then gas of $3.00/gal will cause the next one.

unseen on June 9, 2011 at 10:32 AM

Little Bammie’s inflationary monetary policy is directly responsible for 56 cents a gallon: Obama’s Monetary Policy Causes Massive Pain At The Pump

slickwillie2001 on June 9, 2011 at 11:13 AM

If you want an economist who is honest, and hasn’t been bought off, I’d highly recommend Dr. George Borjas of Harvard. He’s proven the US doesn’t have a worker or skills shortage of any kind, and that the policies of the Obama administration are in aid of one thing, increasing unemployment, and eroding wages in the US.

Ceolas on June 9, 2011 at 11:14 AM

Here it goes again,
INCONCIEVABLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

IDTTWMWYTTWM

esnap on June 9, 2011 at 11:22 AM

Just wait until all of CA’s pink-slipped teachers hit the unemployment rolls end of the month.

Bob's Kid on June 9, 2011 at 11:32 AM

Works a lot like anything else in our society. You get numb to it and it becomes the norm. Economy, morals, whatever.

Mr_Magoo on June 9, 2011 at 12:04 PM

One of the things I don’t get about unemployment/employment statistics : Initial unemployment claims 427,000 that is per week. That’s more than 1.7 million a month applying for unemployment, and then we get a statistic of new jobs of 54,000 in a whole month. Something is way out of whack.

Dasher on June 9, 2011 at 12:07 PM

I guess it is time to move a bunch of people to unemployed and no longer looking…

jeffn21 on June 9, 2011 at 12:25 PM

Obama is AWESOME!!!!!!

Baxter Greene on June 9, 2011 at 9:35 AM

HELL YEAHH!! (groan)

leftnomore on June 9, 2011 at 12:29 PM

Seriously, fellas. Time to find new economists.

Why? These economists are towing the party line quite nicely!

jnelchef on June 9, 2011 at 1:12 PM

Obama is on track by increasing the number of looters/moochers. His voting bloc just gets bigger. He loves it.

Schadenfreude on June 9, 2011 at 1:44 PM

The GM CEO should be removed by the board and the shareholder, due to dereliction of duty.

Obama’s plan is proceeding superbly.

Vote for him and he’ll destroy your family, for generations to come.

Schadenfreude on June 9, 2011 at 1:45 PM

Barack Double Dip Obama.

The Unexpected President.

profitsbeard on June 9, 2011 at 1:50 PM

Redhead on phone (Fiona?- eh, why not, she’s almost like family), she must have a new job. Or, she is in the ladies room and the petulant looking brunette is holding her place in line.

ZeeMI on June 9, 2011 at 2:18 PM

Oh, and the radio guy from Atlanta, name skips my mind, the advocate for flat tax…notice he finally picked up on the “unexpected” line, and of course did not give credit to HotAir, who I think brought that word to national attention, months ago…

right2bright on June 9, 2011 at 2:42 PM

of 49 economists

I want the names. Until I see them and can read something written by these “economists,” I don’t believe they exist.

A while back I tried to research this myself and found maybe six people Reuters uses who were in fact liberal arts airheads posing as economic journalists, but not like economist-economists.

Ed, is this a worthy topic of pursuit all by itself? I agree with Barone on this subject and those who posted above that these supposed “economists” all need to be driving a truck or maybe something like really really safe instead of advising Reuters and the AP.

dogsoldier on June 9, 2011 at 4:25 PM