Weekly jobless claims steady-ish at 370K, durable goods order for April “weak”

posted at 9:21 am on May 24, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Consistency, thy name is … the weekly initial jobless claims from the Department of Labor.  Once again, the report shows a slight decline from last week’s figures.  Once again, that slight decline comes courtesy of an upward revision in last week’s numbers, the 62nd time in 63 weeks that the revisions have gone in the same direction.  And once again, that figure is 370,000 new claims:

In the week ending May 19, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 370,000, a decrease of 2,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 372,000. The 4-week moving average was 370,000, a decrease of 5,500 from the previous week’s revised average of 375,500.

The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.6 percent for the week ending May 12, unchanged from the prior week’s unrevised rate.

The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending May 12 was 3,260,000, a decrease of 29,000 from the preceding week’s revised level of 3,289,000. The 4-week moving average was 3,271,500, a decrease of 17,250 from the preceding week’s revised average of 3,288,750.

The weekly average declines come from the elimination of April’s spikes into the formula.  We have returned to about the same consistent level of churn we saw in Q1 and 2011Q4, which doesn’t give any indication of improvement (or worsening) in the job market.  Given the recent economic indicators, that comes as no shock, of course, and with Taxmageddon hanging over everyone’s head, we shouldn’t expect any breakthroughs in the floor soon, either.

Speaking of which, the key durable-goods report for April shows very little bounce from March’s worst-in-three-years report:

New U.S. claims for unemployment benefits fell slightly last week, government data on Thursday showed, while demand for long-lasting U.S. manufactured goods rose less than expected in April, raising concerns about the U.S. economic recovery. …

Demand for long-lasting U.S. manufactured goods rose less than expected in April as companies scaled back plans to add machinery and the military ordered fewer aircraft, suggesting factory activity was losing momentum in the second quarter.

New orders for durable goods edged 0.2 percent higher last month, a minimal gain after a revised 3.7 percent drop in March, the Commerce Department said on Thursday.

Economists had forecast orders for durable goods, which range from toasters to aircraft, to increase 0.5 percent in April after a previously reported 3.9 percent fall in March.

Transportation helped boost the numbers.  Without that sector, durable goods actually fell another 0.6% last month.  For the 27th out of 28 months, inventories increased, this time by 0.3%, which hints at even lower factory activity in the near future.  Unfilled orders dropped, which means the backlog got reduced, which also might hint at slower activity in the next couple of months.

All in all, it’s a rather pessimistic set of indicators, which means nothing much has really changed, just like the weekly initial jobless claims.


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The one piece of good news: Dog meat prices have shown a slight decline.

TFGP eats dogs, you know.

Bishop on May 24, 2012 at 9:26 AM

All in all, it’s a rather pessimistic set of indicators

Pessimistic: Opposite of HOPE.

itsnotaboutme on May 24, 2012 at 9:27 AM

Mediocrity, the story of the Obama economy.

gsherin on May 24, 2012 at 9:28 AM

All in all, it’s a rather pessimistic set of indicators, which means nothing much has really changed, just like the weekly initial jobless claims.

Ah, Ed you only think nothing much has really changed. Wait until we get the government massaged unemployment percentage….way under 8%. Re-election is now assured.

dirtseller on May 24, 2012 at 9:28 AM

I can’t wait to see how the administration handles the numbers in June, July, and August – High School and College graduations, with few jobs to be had for all these new people entering the workforce.

How many will have to quit looking for work for the unemployment numbers to drop below 8% by the elections?

jackal40 on May 24, 2012 at 9:29 AM

Summer Recovery 3.0. Yea, baby.

msupertas on May 24, 2012 at 9:29 AM

The policies and programs of this president and his administration would actually be much more disastrous for this nation if it weren’t for our lasting belief in capitalism and the free market…and that he’ll be gone in January.

AubieJon on May 24, 2012 at 9:31 AM

Shell game.

petefrt on May 24, 2012 at 9:37 AM

Weekly jobless claims steady-ish at 370K, durable goods order for April “weak”

So basically our New Founded, Revolutionized, Gay President is pretty much spent…

NEXT!

Electrongod on May 24, 2012 at 9:37 AM

These numbers don’t matter. I just don’t buy any numbers from this feral government, anymore. None. They’ve sucked every bit of credibility out of the system.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on May 24, 2012 at 9:37 AM

Well, there was an earthquake in Italy and it rained in the North East, so that explains the jobless numbers. It’s not their fault you see.

Trafalgar on May 24, 2012 at 9:38 AM

All in all, it’s a rather pessimistic set of indicators, which means nothing much has really changed, just like the weekly initial jobless claims.

More muddling through. Nothing will change until we change presidents.

rbj on May 24, 2012 at 9:39 AM

OT, but too funny to pass up:

Bill Clinton just out-Clinton’d himself — posing with two famous porn stars in Monaco moments ago … and one of them’s a real up-and-comer.

petefrt on May 24, 2012 at 9:39 AM

Saw that this morning….or is that…warning?

Electrongod on May 24, 2012 at 9:43 AM

The weekly jobless claims number is pure bull shit as it has been revised upwards 62 of the last 63 weeks so the fix is in by the Govt. Of course you never hear the empty suits on CNBC or the NYT etc talk about any upward revisions

HAGGS99 on May 24, 2012 at 9:45 AM

I wonder if the demise of Obamacare (hopefully in June–fingers crossed!) would help these numbers by November? Ironic twist, that.

johnny alpha on May 24, 2012 at 9:46 AM

The folks that report on these numbers know very little about the concept of measurement error–be it random, or systematic.

ted c on May 24, 2012 at 9:52 AM

All in all, it’s a rather pessimistic set of indicators, which means nothing much has really changed, just like the weekly initial jobless claims.

Hey, but did you know that Ann Romney likes them horses?

Gotta focus on the important stuff, you know?

ICanSeeNovFromMyHouse on May 24, 2012 at 9:53 AM

Electrongod on May 24, 2012 at 9:43 AM

Better pic at Twitchy: http://twitchy.com/2012/05/24/bill-clinton-gets-cozy-with-stars-of-mission-asspossible-and-baby-got-boobs-8/

This miserable POS in the WH makes me yearn for good ole Bubba days.

petefrt on May 24, 2012 at 9:58 AM

An appropriate photo – SCOAMF in front of a giant screw.

Rixon on May 24, 2012 at 10:02 AM

Summer Recovery 3.0. Yea, baby.

msupertas on May 24, 2012 at 9:29 AM

LOL. I heard the Beach Boys were just hired with taxpayer dollars to help market Summer Recovery 3.0. So far, not so good.

http://www.fiscalwars.wordpress.com

stout77 on May 24, 2012 at 10:09 AM

petefrt on May 24, 2012 at 9:39 AM

Isn’t that called Tuesday for him.

Oil Can on May 24, 2012 at 10:12 AM

Welcome to Obamanomics “New Normal”.

GarandFan on May 24, 2012 at 10:41 AM

…but…butt we’re going down the right path!…in the right direction!…JugEars told folks at a gala fund raiser last night that he couldn’t FIX every thing in 5 years…he needed 5 more!

KOOLAID2 on May 24, 2012 at 10:44 AM

Obama has run a remarkably centrist economic administration so tacking to the left now is disingenuous. What’s a progressive voter to do…

libfreeordie on May 24, 2012 at 10:14 AM

Del Dolemonte on May 24, 2012 at 11:00 AM

I can’t wait to see how the administration handles the numbers in June, July, and August – High School and College graduations, with few jobs to be had for all these new people entering the workforce.

How many will have to quit looking for work for the unemployment numbers to drop below 8% by the elections?

jackal40 on May 24, 2012 at 9:29 AM

Historically, what short-term effect does the influx of recent graduates from both HS and college have in this sort of stagnant/mediocre economy and job market?

We already know that the number of “new jobs created” under 0bama has not kept up with number of new entrants to the job market; will May and June HS and college graduations make it that much worse?

MidniteRambler on May 24, 2012 at 11:17 AM

Our chocolate ration held steady from last week’s 4 grams to this weeks 3.8 grams!

jukin3 on May 24, 2012 at 11:36 AM

Our chocolate ration held steady from last week’s 4 grams to this weeks 3.8 grams!

jukin3 on May 24, 2012 at 11:36 AM

You get chocolate?

trigon on May 24, 2012 at 11:55 AM

Little movement in the claims number, but we did like the housing numbers we saw this week. Adds to the tangential information we have been receiving that the housing market has in fact bottomed, and prices are beginning to rise. When the foreclosure logjam broke earlier this year, we knew it would take a while to clear, but it now appears that short sales and foreclosures are drying up and people are bidding on houses again. The markets, however, are concentrating on two things: Greece and the China slowdown.

TouchdownBuddha on May 24, 2012 at 12:17 PM

It’s the SUMMER of GEORGE

Conservative4ev on May 24, 2012 at 12:29 PM

U N E X P E C T E D L Y!!!

Katfish on May 24, 2012 at 2:37 PM

These numbers don’t matter. I just don’t buy any numbers from this feral government, anymore. None. They’ve sucked every bit of credibility out of the system.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on May 24, 2012 at 9:37 AM

You should not believe them. They are being deliberately manipulated and they press turns themselves into pretzels trying to make 370,000 people filing for unemployment a great thing.

When a republican is in the white house the headlines are simple:

370,000 MORE! in 72 point typeface. Everywhere. All day.

Average stay on unemployment now is over six months.

dogsoldier on May 24, 2012 at 2:40 PM

I notice they don’t mention the 230,000 still jobless people who were kicked off the unemployment rolls early last weekend due to the Obummer administration lying and making it look like the unemployment rate went down again. I guess these people (myself included) don’t exist any longer.

sherrimae on May 24, 2012 at 6:15 PM

This is THE OBAMA ECONOMY. If America rehires this guy America deserves what it gets.

CW on May 24, 2012 at 9:02 PM