Weekly initial jobless claims jump 23,000 from last announced level …

posted at 9:51 am on April 12, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Last month’s disappointing jobs report got some disappointing company this morning from the Department of Labor.  The number of initial weekly jobless claims jumped up 23,000 over the level announced last week, which was itself adjusted upward by 10,000 in today’s report (via Steve Eggleston):

In the week ending April 7, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 380,000, an increase of 13,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 367,000. The 4-week moving average was 368,500, an increase of 4,250 from the previous week’s revised average of 364,250.

The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.6 percent for the week ending March 31, unchanged from the prior week’s unrevised rate of 2.6 percent.

The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending March 31 was 3,251,000, a decrease of 98,000 from the preceding week’s revised level of 3,349,000. The 4-week moving average was 3,334,250, a decrease of 35,750 from the preceding week’s revised average of 3,370,000.

This puts the weekly claims level at about the high end of the range over the last several months.  It’s a big move in the wrong direction, but for the moment, it’s a one-time occurrence.  This is a series with plenty of spikes and valleys, which is why the better indicator is the four-week rolling average.  That jumped by over 4,000, though, which is a significant change in the wrong direction, and could indicate more rough days ahead.

How bad is this?  Reuters not only breaks out the U-word for the event, they also resurrect their manufactured myth about correlation with job growth:

New claims for unemployment benefits rose last week to their highest level since January, a development that could raise fears the labor market recovery was stalling after job creation slowed in March.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 13,000 to a seasonally adjusted 380,000, the Labor Department said on Thursday. The prior week’s figure was revised up to 367,000 from the previously reported 357,000.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims falling to 355,000 last week. …

Despite the rise in claims last week, both first-time applications for unemployment aid and the four-week average held below the 400,000 mark, implying job gains above March’s tally.

That’s a mild version of the 400K Myth, the notion that getting below 400K in this series correlates with high levels of job creation.  It’s simply not so.  In this case, Reuters offers a weaker claim that getting below 400K will result in some kind of positive job creation, which is true … but that was true above 400K as well.  In 2011, for instance, we were above 400K for most of the year and had positive job-creation numbers, but not positive enough to fully keep up with population growth.  It’s better to be below than above 400K for obvious reasons, but we won’t dent the current and chronic levels of unemployment until this number gets down to 325K or so.

The White House didn’t need this number today.  They’re trying to argue that Barack Obama has the country on the right track to recovery, even though we are almost three full years into recovery and the jobs have not returned.  The March jobs report and this sudden “unexpected” jump make it look like the Obama recovery is still moribund.  If this trend continues, especially with gas prices rising, this will not be a Recovery Summer for Obama’s job approval ratings.


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Brother, can you spare a dime?

petefrt on April 12, 2012 at 9:54 AM

Spin it!

Less is more
Poverty is wealth
Destituteness is affluence

tom daschle concerned on April 12, 2012 at 9:55 AM

So much for the “not firing either” news from last week.

Twice now the initial unemployment claims had to be revised upward from an initial claim they were under 360K, and this time was the mother of all jumps at +10K.

Steve Eggleston on April 12, 2012 at 9:55 AM

Øbama‘s energy policy is coming back to haunt him. Justice.

petefrt on April 12, 2012 at 9:56 AM

Funemployment!

Electrongod on April 12, 2012 at 9:56 AM

One Reuters article quotes some NY financial firm rep as blaming the Easter holiday for the increase. Because… you know… what employer doesn’t fire people in droves right before Easter? It’s Jesus’s fault.

BKeyser on April 12, 2012 at 9:57 AM

Hey, I know, let’s all lower our expectations! It’ll be fun!

kirkill on April 12, 2012 at 9:57 AM

Ot

Is there going to be a thread on Eric Holder going after apple and ebooks?

tom daschle concerned on April 12, 2012 at 9:58 AM

All part of the Reforming America plan…..

Electrongod on April 12, 2012 at 9:58 AM

El Presidente Zero frightens all businesses by his very presence in office. Many businesses are sitting on huge cash reserves that they are not going to invest when there is a psychotic socialist tearing around DC who passes BS regulations and laws every five seconds that are frequently very detrimental to commercial success.

ABO and that goes double for you TruCons.

CorporatePiggy on April 12, 2012 at 9:58 AM

One Reuters article quotes some NY financial firm rep as blaming the Easter holiday for the increase. Because… you know… what employer doesn’t fire people in droves right before Easter? It’s Jesus’s fault.

BKeyser on April 12, 2012 at 9:57 AM

The prior “Good Friday” week was the start of a months-long initial jobless claims of over 400K/week.

Steve Eggleston on April 12, 2012 at 9:58 AM

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims falling to 355,000 last week. …

Turbo-Tax Timmie and Christina “Stimulate me” Romer are on speed-dial over at Reuters.

Lost in Jersey on April 12, 2012 at 10:00 AM

Here’s how bad it is: A VP at my company was laid off last month. He had 24 years of service, and has a Doctorate Degree in Nuclear Physics.

kirkill on April 12, 2012 at 10:00 AM

Trailers for sale or rent
Rooms to let fifty cents
No phone, no food, no pets
I ain’t got no cigarettes…

Ladysmith CulchaVulcha on April 12, 2012 at 10:01 AM

How many of those were women?

rogerb on April 12, 2012 at 10:01 AM

I blame Mrs. Romney.

Bishop on April 12, 2012 at 10:02 AM

War On The Working Class.

Electrongod on April 12, 2012 at 10:03 AM

Here’s how bad it is: A VP at my company was laid off last month. He had 24 years of service, and has a Doctorate Degree in Nuclear Physics.

kirkill on April 12, 2012 at 10:00 AM

Don’t worry, Iran is looking for just his type.

msupertas on April 12, 2012 at 10:03 AM

The true measure will be what the initial jobless claims number is in two weeks, after we cycle through the Easter break. Next week’s numbers will be skewed because of all the school employees taking one week of unemployment due to Easter break.

Steve Eggleston on April 12, 2012 at 10:03 AM

Okay, who on here is suprised by this? We have an administration waging a class war, we have an administration who is a regulatory maniac, we have an administration that is out there trying to “pick winners”, and NO ONE SEES THIS COMING??

Oh I forgot I was preaching to the choir… please ignore my previous remarks. I’ll save them for Yahole.

Turtle317 on April 12, 2012 at 10:04 AM

The White House didn’t need this number today. They’re trying to argue that Barack Obama has the country on the right track to recovery, even though we are almost three full years into recovery and the jobs have not returned. The March jobs report and this sudden “unexpected” jump make it look like the Obama recovery is still moribund.

That won’t stop them from claiming we’re on the right track. One positive development from the economy possibly slowing down. The local gas station dropped the price for a gallon of gas from $3.93 to $3.89. Woo hoo!

Doughboy on April 12, 2012 at 10:04 AM

Be patient, here comes Recovery Summer.

msupertas on April 12, 2012 at 10:05 AM

Hide the Decline!

ITguy on April 12, 2012 at 10:05 AM

The “real” numbers put unemployment at over 11%. There are no honest numbers coming from this administration on anything. Nothing to see here… hey look a “white hispanic” killed a black kid out buying soda and skittles. Look over there… The press in this country are a disgrace.

BobScuba on April 12, 2012 at 10:06 AM

This is a potentially big deal – if you track backwards in time, you’ll see that improvements in the number of seasonally-adjusted new jobless benefit claims filed each week really began stalling out after the report covering the week ending 11 February 2012. There has been no sustained improvement in the data since.

That’s significant because it was during the very next week that the average price of gasoline in the U.S. rose back above the $3.50 per gallon price level. Not so coincidentally, that’s also the level that the price of gasoline fell below back in the week preceding 3 December 2011, which is what initiated the most recent trend of improvement in the weekly jobless claim data.

So if you want to know what is really behind the bad news for jobs in the U.S., you can point with some certainty to oil and gas prices.

ironman on April 12, 2012 at 10:07 AM

More people out of work!!! Bad economic numbers!!! woooohoooo!!!!!

/Republicans

cjw79 on April 12, 2012 at 10:08 AM

Brother, can you spare a dime?

petefrt on April 12, 2012 at 9:54 AM

No, but I’m sure Big Brother can help you out.

forest on April 12, 2012 at 10:08 AM

Again, the numbers were better than expected in the early part of the year because of the unusually warm weather. The economy will self-correct, and the weaknesses are now surfacing.

And that means that Obama’s approval ratings will start tanking again. And if Mitt can focus on the economy, he will be the next president.

milcus on April 12, 2012 at 10:09 AM

The Parrot Press will not be diverting to other stories and will be informing the American public about the revisions 24/7 and the numbers spin they helped spin previously in 5…4…3…2..

KOOLAID2 on April 12, 2012 at 10:09 AM

How much more proof do we need that progressive economic policies just prolong the pain?

spinach.chin on April 12, 2012 at 10:09 AM

Sometimes it would just be easier to be president of China.

a capella on April 12, 2012 at 10:10 AM

The number of initial weekly jobless claims jumped up 23,000 over the level announced last week, which was itself adjusted upward by 10,000 in today’s report (via Steve Eggleston)

Unexpectedly. Not! This administration is all about cooking the numbers and “adjusting” them later after the victory laps and boasting about how well the economy is recovering.

Happy Nomad on April 12, 2012 at 10:10 AM

forest on April 12, 2012 at 10:08 AM

Green shoots.

petefrt on April 12, 2012 at 10:10 AM

One Reuters article quotes some NY financial firm rep as blaming the Easter holiday for the increase. Because… you know… what employer doesn’t fire people in droves right before Easter? It’s Jesus’s fault.

BKeyser on April 12, 2012 at 9:57 AM

There’s some excuse. Easter. Christmas. Cold weather. Hot weather. School vacation. Back to school time. Super Bowl, World Series. You name it, every week there is some event that the Obama apologists will point to and say, well XYZ happened this week so you can’t really take the numbers seriously.

angryed on April 12, 2012 at 10:11 AM

More people out of work!!! Bad economic numbers!!! woooohoooo!!!!!

/Republicans

cjw79 on April 12, 2012 at 10:08 AM

They aren’t out of work they’re funemployed, and tragically bad economic data is actually a sign that Recovery X (choose your season) is right around the corner.

You need to try harder.

Bishop on April 12, 2012 at 10:11 AM

I blame Mrs. Romney.

Bishop on April 12, 2012 at 10:02 AM

Hey! It isn’t her fault, she hasn’t worked a day in her life! Apparently she just lolls around the house eating bon bons.

Happy Nomad on April 12, 2012 at 10:12 AM

Speaking of Jobs, the Democrat Media refuses to report it, but the scandal-plagued GSA apparently spent over a quarter of a million dollars just to relocate a single one of their employees from Denver to Hawai’i.

And in other GSA News, a group of GSA employees were forced at gunpoint to spend 5 days in Hawai’i, all in order to attend a 1 hour groundbreaking.

As Faux News tells us:

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee said Wednesday that five employees associated with the recently scandal-plagued Government Services Administration went to Hawaii for up to a week in 2011 to attend an hour-long ribbon cutting on space leased by the federal government for the FBI.

Details of the incident surfaced in a transcript of an interview between the GSA Inspector General’s Office and a GSA employee.

The employee indicated to the IG investigator that trip was not isolated and that there was another, longer junket scheduled for Hawaii this fall.

That one would be in Hilo, Hawaii for 10 days and would include ribbon cuttings for a federal building, a post office and perhaps a courthouse.

The transcript indicates that some of the GSA employees went snorkeling during their free time in the mornings.

http://nation.foxnews.com/gsa-scandal/2012/04/11/gsa-employees-travel-hawaii-five-days-one-hour-ribbon-cutting#ixzz1rptFF0hj

Del Dolemonte on April 12, 2012 at 10:14 AM

More people out of work!!! Bad economic numbers!!! woooohoooo!!!!!

/Republicans

cjw79 on April 12, 2012 at 10:08 AM

Please point out the Republicans that are happy that Obama’s policies are killing America. Otherwise STFU.

Happy Nomad on April 12, 2012 at 10:14 AM

The true measure will be what the initial jobless claims number is in two weeks, after we cycle through the Easter break. Next week’s numbers will be skewed because of all the school employees taking one week of unemployment due to Easter break.

Steve Eggleston on April 12, 2012 at 10:03 AM

Plus one more week for the upward revision to get reported.

forest on April 12, 2012 at 10:15 AM

More people out of work!!! Bad economic numbers!!! woooohoooo We should keep doing the same things we’ve been doing since ’08!!!!!
 
/Republicans Democrats
 
cjw79 on April 12, 2012 at 10:08 AM

 
FIFY.

rogerb on April 12, 2012 at 10:16 AM

the four-week average held below the 400,000 mark, implying job gains above March’s tally.

Good thing Reuters has such high journalistic standards. They only use hard numbers./

mankai on April 12, 2012 at 10:16 AM

Why would anyone expand their business? The bush tax cuts are expiring at the end of the year. Obamacare is up in the aire. Energy costs are unpredictable. Regulations are out of control. Anyone over 250k is demonized. How can any business make a 5 year plan? Heck you cant even make a 6 month plan. For our business the plan we’ve made is the one where we strip it down and ride out the storm. Four years ago we were thinking about adding another crew and buying equipment.

ldbgcoleman on April 12, 2012 at 10:17 AM

Add Hilary Rosen to the unemployment roles next month…

PatriotRider on April 12, 2012 at 10:17 AM

cjw79 on April 12, 2012 at 10:08 AM

See: Obfuscation and that squirrel over there.

mankai on April 12, 2012 at 10:17 AM

What happened to all the trolls???…..oh right…most of them were banned yesterday…

PatriotRider on April 12, 2012 at 10:18 AM

More people out of work!!! Bad economic numbers!!! woooohoooo!!!!!

/Republicans

cjw79 on April 12, 2012 at 10:08 AM

It does not look to me that any of the posts hear reflect glee in the fact that people are out of work. You are fishing in the wrong pond.

LeftCoastRight on April 12, 2012 at 10:18 AM

Plus one more week for the upward revision to get reported.

forest on April 12, 2012 at 10:15 AM

I almost forgot about that. I automatically add 4K, though that wouldn’t have helped with the piror week’s number this time around.

Steve Eggleston on April 12, 2012 at 10:20 AM

at happened to all the trolls???……oh right…most of them were banned yesterday…

PatriotRider on April 12, 2012 at 10:18 AM

:-)

:-D

:lol:

ITguy on April 12, 2012 at 10:21 AM

Some how, some way the Democrats and TeamObama will find the way to now blame all bad economic news on Romney….
As in, “businesses are laying off workers and no longer hiring for fear of having a Republican President in 2013….”

albill on April 12, 2012 at 10:21 AM

This is a potentially big deal – if you track backwards in time, you’ll see that improvements in the number of seasonally-adjusted new jobless benefit claims filed each week really began stalling out after the report covering the week ending 11 February 2012. There has been no sustained improvement in the data since.

That’s significant because it was during the very next week that the average price of gasoline in the U.S. rose back above the $3.50 per gallon price level. Not so coincidentally, that’s also the level that the price of gasoline fell below back in the week preceding 3 December 2011, which is what initiated the most recent trend of improvement in the weekly jobless claim data.

So if you want to know what is really behind the bad news for jobs in the U.S., you can point with some certainty to oil and gas prices.

ironman on April 12, 2012 at 10:07 AM

Funny you mention that – Tom Blumer charted the initial jobless claims numbers back to December, and the trend is not anybody’s friend.

Steve Eggleston on April 12, 2012 at 10:23 AM

Unexpectedly?

krome on April 12, 2012 at 10:27 AM

More people out of work!!! Bad economic numbers!!! woooohoooo!!!!!

/Republicans

cjw79 on April 12, 2012 at 10:08 AM

You know what could stop all of that conservative schadenfreude? If Obama were a competent president.

EricW on April 12, 2012 at 10:27 AM

PatriotRider on April 12, 2012 at 10:18 AM

I was busy yesterday, who got the hammer?

D-fusit on April 12, 2012 at 10:28 AM

silly guys……just drop another 10 or 20 million from those looking for work…..POOF! you have lower unemployment and the lap dog worthless ass stupid buffoon media parasites will not report a thing while the sheep follow in lock step…..

SDarchitect on April 12, 2012 at 10:31 AM

Not good news, but the markets are taking it all in stride; it is one report, and while the overall trend continues downward, we appear to have bumped into the 350K level. Still, early earnings reports have been much better than expected, and based upon the reports we saw we are looking for a better than expected 1Q12 GDP in a couple of weeks. We’ll also be looking carefully at the Consumer Sentiment number tomorrow and the manufacturing surveys next week to see if the momentum from 1Q continues. Europe is a bigger concern right now.

TouchdownBuddha on April 12, 2012 at 10:31 AM

The true measure will be what the initial jobless claims number is in two weeks, after we cycle through the Easter break. Next week’s numbers will be skewed because of all the school employees taking one week of unemployment due to Easter break.

Steve Eggleston on April 12, 2012 at 10:03 AM

By all accounts it will not be good. Have you seen the NFIB report? There is a lot going on that will further suppress hiring and cause even more layoffs. 18 new tax increases will come into effect in just over 250 days, fuel and raw material prices are increasing quickly. Manufacturers are both unloading what inventory they have and not stocking up more.

I’ve been spamming the tip line with a lot of material on this.

Even the electronic giant Sony is laying of 10,000.

dogsoldier on April 12, 2012 at 10:35 AM

By all accounts it will not be good. Have you seen the NFIB report? There is a lot going on that will further suppress hiring and cause even more layoffs. 18 new tax increases will come into effect in just over 250 days, fuel and raw material prices are increasing quickly. Manufacturers are both unloading what inventory they have and not stocking up more.

I’ve been spamming the tip line with a lot of material on this.

Even the electronic giant Sony is laying of 10,000.

dogsoldier on April 12, 2012 at 10:35 AM

Did I say last week, after the additional news came in, that the 8.2% U-3 rate was beginning to look like an outlier? I think we can change that to “is an outlier”.

Steve Eggleston on April 12, 2012 at 10:38 AM

Still, early earnings reports have been much better than expected, and based upon the reports we saw we are looking for a better than expected 1Q12 GDP in a couple of weeks.

Actually we are headed into the third dip, according to this:

http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2012/04/3rd%20time%20charm.jpg

FTA:”The following chart from Bank of America captures the past three years of American “recovery” quite starkly: the US economy, as measured by the ISM has so far not double but triple dipped, and the result would have been far more pronounced had the Fed not stepped in after each of the prior two local maxima and injected trillions into the economy. Following peaks in mid 2010 and early 2011, we are “there” again – how long until the Fed has to jump in? ”

The Fed has said they will not do a QE3.

dogsoldier on April 12, 2012 at 10:39 AM

Did I say last week, after the additional news came in, that the 8.2% U-3 rate was beginning to look like an outlier? I think we can change that to “is an outlier”.

Steve Eggleston on April 12, 2012 at 10:38 AM

You did, indeed, sir.

dogsoldier on April 12, 2012 at 10:40 AM

Wow. Hallmark Cards is laying off too.

http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/289284d9a8a2471dacc6a943487316ca/MO–Hallmark-Voluntary-Cuts/

dogsoldier on April 12, 2012 at 10:43 AM

dogsoldier on April 12, 2012 at 10:39 AM

The only thing that’s going to save the 1Q12 GDP is that the first quarter ended at the end of March, so . Even so, I doubt things will be as rosy as the press economists think they’ll be.

That leading indicator was part of the daily staple of DOOM that Monty, unfortunately, semi-retired over at Ace of Spades HQ.

Steve Eggleston on April 12, 2012 at 10:44 AM

The Fed has said they will not do a QE3.

dogsoldier on April 12, 2012 at 10:39 AM

Because it would more-properly be termed QE4 given how much Treasury debt the Fed soaked up the last year.

Steve Eggleston on April 12, 2012 at 10:46 AM

we are almost three full years into recovery

Really?

GarandFan on April 12, 2012 at 10:51 AM

The White House didn’t need this number today.

Sure it did Ed, these numbers clearly mean that they can lower the unemployment rate to below 8%.

SWalker on April 12, 2012 at 10:53 AM

More people out of work!!! Bad economic numbers!!! woooohoooo!!!!!

/Republicans

cjw79 on April 12, 2012 at 10:08 AM

conversly, dems are rejoicing that they have proven capitalism doesn’t work. Right cjw79? /you

DanMan on April 12, 2012 at 10:56 AM

Del Dolemonte on April 12, 2012 at 10:14 AM

MSM – *crickets*

dogsoldier on April 12, 2012 at 11:07 AM

Another rise in unemployment is a good thing!

Now more women can stay home with their kids like Ann Romney and not work at all! Not having a job is a “privilege”!

/White House spin’d

MidniteRambler on April 12, 2012 at 11:17 AM

we are almost three full years into recovery

Hey things are really looking up around here.
– F.F. Piven
/

Kenosha Kid on April 12, 2012 at 11:21 AM

I was busy yesterday, who got the hammer?

D-fusit on April 12, 2012 at 10:28 AM

Oderangementsyndrome

PatriotRider on April 12, 2012 at 11:27 AM

Oderangementsyndrome

PatriotRider on April 12, 2012 at 11:27 AM

I could barely get out of bed this morning, I was so upset.

But on the good side, every troll like him and liberal4life we ban, KeninCT and sesquipedalian seem comparatively smarter.

Chuck Schick on April 12, 2012 at 11:33 AM

If I understand the situation correctly, the seasonal adjustments that added jobs over the winter are going to be a negative in the spring and summer.

eyedoc on April 12, 2012 at 11:34 AM

In January we had 3 increases in a row in initial jobless claims then the trend reversed. In February it was the exact same pattern. Now we have had another 3 weeks in a row of increases so if the pattern holds it will dip down next week.

Wigglesworth on April 12, 2012 at 11:47 AM

QE3, here we come!!!

Deafdog on April 12, 2012 at 11:47 AM

The trolls were banned? But I think it was their only job!

BTW – Bishop – Mrs Romney – priceless

tomg51 on April 12, 2012 at 11:50 AM

The weekly unemployment number was reduced from 357,000 to 380,000.

jukin3 on April 12, 2012 at 12:00 PM

The Big Lie. UI at 8.2% The regime knows they have to make it look plausible as they have to continue the lie through Oct so they allowed this report or otherwise it is actually worse. If you are unemployed, how do you vote for the guy that made you that way & is keeping you there ?

democratsarefools on April 12, 2012 at 12:23 PM

We have new claimants filing while millions of others have their benefits run out AND millions more simply give up looking for work at all. Gas will rise. Food costs will go up with energy while the portions get smaller. Ipads and other bright shiny objects will drop in price while the necessities of life get more expensive. Anyone expecting anything else is insane. The usa cannot continue to borrow $0.70 of every dollar spent while printing money freely. The emperor is not only naked, he owes a couple trillion dollars to china.

bucknut on April 12, 2012 at 2:16 PM

The usa cannot continue to borrow $0.70 of every dollar spent while printing money freely. The emperor is not only naked, he owes a couple trillion dollars to china.

Don’t exaggerate, it is only 48 cents, all is well. Food only went up 12% in 2011. Gas has only doubled since his high holiness has been running things. If it weren’t for the super genius of 0bama things could be worse.

jukin3 on April 12, 2012 at 2:47 PM

After five years eight months two weeks of unemployment, I can finally say I’m earning a very decent living and have been offered a full-time position where I’m currently under contract.

I am, however, still a Tea Party member AND fighting the establishmnt GOP. I’m doing my part for a better America.

madmonkphotog on April 12, 2012 at 3:16 PM

madmonkphotog on April 12, 2012 at 3:16 PM

Congrats!

Steve Eggleston on April 12, 2012 at 3:42 PM

Is this Obastard’s new “Summer Of Recovery??”

Colatteral Damage on April 12, 2012 at 6:26 PM

Even the obama fluffer/bathhouse towel boy bayam didn’t touch this thread.

They are totally desperate.

tom daschle concerned on April 12, 2012 at 8:53 PM