Weekly initial jobless claims at 358K

posted at 10:41 am on October 17, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

The second week of the shutdown brought in fewer initial jobless claims, but the shutdown wasn’t the main problem last week, either. The Department of Labor reported 358,000 initial jobless claims last week, down 15,000 from the week before but still artificially high due to a backlog in California:

In the week ending October 12, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 358,000, a decrease of 15,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 373,000. The 4-week moving average was 336,500, an increase of 11,750 from the previous week’s revised average of 324,750.

The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.2 percent for the week ending October 5, unchanged from the prior week’s unrevised rate. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending October 5 was 2,859,000, a decrease of 43,000 from the preceding week’s revised level of 2,902,000. The 4-week moving average was 2,875,750, an increase of 17,750 from the preceding week’s revised average of 2,858,000.

Economists expected the number to fall more:

Jobless claims decreased by 15,000 to 358,000 in the week ended Oct. 12 from a revised 373,000 in the prior period, a Labor Department report showed today in Washington. The median forecast of 46 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a decrease to 335,000. Applications in California remained elevated and last week’s total also included some non-federal workers dismissed due to the gridlock in Washington, a Labor Department spokesman said as the figures were released.

The shutdown would have furloughed federal workers and contractors, making at least the latter eligible for jobless benefits.  The big surge in those applications came a week earlier, but that wasn’t the only surge that pushed the initial jobless claim levels back to 373K, nor were the previous weeks’ years-long lows accurate, either.  California and Michigan have begun working through their backlog of uncounted claims, which has skewed the data for weeks:

California and Michigan continued to sift through backlogged claims held up by computer changes. Furloughed private-sector workers drove up applications by 15,000 two weeks ago. About 70,000 furloughed federal employees also sought benefits in the week ending Oct. 5, although those workers aren’t included in the overall totals. …

The government opened for business on Thursday. Federal employees who receive back pay will likely have to reimburse the government if they claimed unemployment benefits during the two-week shutdown, although the law varies by state.

Before the government shutdown and California’s backlog, applications fell to a six-year low three weeks ago, thought that figure was pushed lower by California’s delays.

Besides, while this series has been a decent indirect measure of job creation when viewed over a longer period — more than the four-week average, certainly — the indirect connection between this measure and job growth has disappeared in the Great Stagnation:

Falling applications for unemployment benefits are typically followed by more hiring. But so far, there haven’t been many signs of that happening.

Steve Eggleston estimated that the real level of this measure over the last several weeks was probably 320,000, give or take a few each week.  In other words, the real figure (outside the shutdown) has probably been steady, and only has spiked or plunged due to artificial events and not anything reflective of real hiring trends.

When might we see the September jobs report, originally due two weeks ago but delayed by the shutdown?  The survey work was completed perhaps as long as a month ago, and the only thing needed now is the report.  It should come out soon, perhaps as soon as tomorrow, although that may be a little optimistic.


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Come ‘on, Honey. We can’t close our eyes to the plight of the city. Kids — you noticing all this plight?

Axe on October 17, 2013 at 10:50 AM

Come ‘on, Honey. We can’t close our eyes to the plight of the city. Kids — you noticing all this plight?

Axe on October 17, 2013 at 10:50 AM

“Yes, dad. It is our future, after all.”

Steve Eggleston on October 17, 2013 at 10:56 AM

So the AP has finally admitted that its “375K initial jobless claims is a sign of robust hiring” line of Bravo Sierra is, in fact, a line of Bravo Sierra.

I’m disappointed that the older standard of 325K being a sign of a growing jobs market has also collapsed. That is why Cruz/Lee/et al fought to the bitter end to do something about the PlaceboCare that has caused said collapse.

Steve Eggleston on October 17, 2013 at 11:06 AM

OT: dear leader taking his victory and still bashing the gop
Don’t blame me…

How can they work with this idioty

cmsinaz on October 17, 2013 at 11:06 AM

Bashing Rush

Puhleeze

cmsinaz on October 17, 2013 at 11:07 AM

He’s blaming others on rhetoric when he’s the main culprit…..
Geez

cmsinaz on October 17, 2013 at 11:08 AM

cmsinaz on October 17, 2013 at 11:06 AM

He is literally making me sick to my stomach. What a load of horse poop as he stands there trying to make himself look reasonable and that the state of D.C. politics has NOTHING TO DO WITH HIM. Sorry sack of ((*&*&*.

CoffeeLover on October 17, 2013 at 11:09 AM

Jackass just interrupted my listening to Herman Cain. He just said to stop laying attention to bloggers and talk radio.
Demands 3 things for future:
1. Balanced approach to budget.
AAAHHHHHAAAA stop it I can’t take it.
I turned off the radio couldn’t stand to listen to any more lies so I don’t know what the other two are. Probably immigration and laser like focus on jobs.

Brat on October 17, 2013 at 11:11 AM

LOL He’s taking credit for the sequester reduction success but in same breathe wants to spend more….education, infrastructure. He did the same speech last night in just over 3 minutes…he’s already past his time limit….wished someone had the hook!

CoffeeLover on October 17, 2013 at 11:12 AM

It’s all on topic.

obama speaks. I made the mistake of watching the opening.

1. He looks like hell.

2. He lies with every word.

3. “The public is sick of DC”…then he continues as if he’s not part of DC.

An utter fool and rat is president.

The land is a laughing stock.

Schadenfreude on October 17, 2013 at 11:14 AM

Brat on October 17, 2013 at 11:11 AM

Same items as last night

Budget
Farm Bill
Immigration

CoffeeLover on October 17, 2013 at 11:14 AM

Steve Eggleston on October 17, 2013 at 11:06 AM

Speaking of which, I’m suffering with a couple of tooth problems that are making me pretty miserable.

– Which of these piles of rubble is the free dentist?

. . . No, that was a Starbucks . . .

. . . “Live girls” . . . love those, but no . . .

Axe on October 17, 2013 at 11:14 AM

Then I turned the TV off.

Schadenfreude on October 17, 2013 at 11:14 AM

Schadenfreude on October 17, 2013 at 11:14 AM

well said.

CoffeeLover on October 17, 2013 at 11:15 AM

zero is now lecturing us on the democratic process and negotiation. What he’s not saying is that it’s his way that will always win in the end.

I’m so disgusted by this piece.

freedomfirst on October 17, 2013 at 11:17 AM

Can Mooch’s garden be saved?

That’s the real question…..

Electrongod on October 17, 2013 at 11:17 AM

CoffeeLover on October 17, 2013 at 11:14 AM

Thanks…I didn’t bother to find out what he said last night. Self imposed media blackout. I’m crying so hard I’m laughing. Schadenfreude, laughing stock indeed.

Brat on October 17, 2013 at 11:17 AM

Federal workers worked without pay?
Not from what I’ve seen/heard.

He lies.

freedomfirst on October 17, 2013 at 11:19 AM

Electrongod on October 17, 2013 at 11:17 AM

LOL (waving at ya EG)

CoffeeLover on October 17, 2013 at 11:19 AM

OMG…he even used “under God” in his closing line. They must have some awful internal polling.

CoffeeLover on October 17, 2013 at 11:21 AM

Can Mooch’s garden be saved?

That’s the real question…..

Electrongod on October 17, 2013 at 11:17 AM

It’s already October. The organic gardener will find that this isn’t a fight worth waging. They will simply decide to live to fight the squirrels another day.

Happy Nomad on October 17, 2013 at 11:21 AM

Someone told him to recite part of the pledge of allegiance.
Notice he used it as a requirement of us plebians. He didn’t recite it as pertaining to him.

freedomfirst on October 17, 2013 at 11:21 AM

These 358K need EBT cards, stat.

faraway on October 17, 2013 at 11:22 AM

Can Mooch’s garden be saved?

That’s the real question…..

Electrongod on October 17, 2013 at 11:17 AM

Full sized cabbages kales and lettuces are replacing the rotting squirrel eaten tomatoes as we speak. Moochelle said “chop chop!” to the NPS workers this morning as soon as they arrived back at the job.

Brat on October 17, 2013 at 11:22 AM

Dumb@ss says deficit is shrinking. Two factors:
Extremely high baseline by passing QE. Our deficit should not be $1-2T (Bush deficits were what, $0.4T?).
Sequester is imposing cuts that he had no role in.

freedomfirst on October 17, 2013 at 11:26 AM

Coffee lover he sounded petulant
Arrggh

cmsinaz on October 17, 2013 at 11:29 AM

Can Mooch’s garden be saved?

That’s the real question…..

Electrongod on October 17, 2013 at 11:17 AM

Isn’t the WH requesting an additional $2 or $3 billion in spending in order to save it?

I think McCain will earmark it for her….

Athos on October 17, 2013 at 11:31 AM

I’m sure msdnc and CNN are praising his speech while doing a happy dance…. they’ll continue the gop bashing

cmsinaz on October 17, 2013 at 11:35 AM

By the way, what happens to feds who receive BOTH unemployment and backpay? Unemployment is state-funded, right? I’m thinking there will be double dipping by the vacationers. You might argue triple dipping because they got unemployment, backpay, and time off without being charged leave.

I don’t begrude the honest fed employees, just their masters.

freedomfirst on October 17, 2013 at 11:39 AM

By the way, what happens to feds who receive BOTH unemployment and backpay? Unemployment is state-funded, right? I’m thinking there will be double dipping by the vacationers. You might argue triple dipping because they got unemployment, backpay, and time off without being charged leave.

I don’t begrude the honest fed employees, just their masters.

freedomfirst on October 17, 2013 at 11:39 AM

The feds self-fund their own unemployment funds (one for civilian federal workers, one for newly-discharged veterans), and the leech…er…workers who double-dipped are supposed to pay back the unemployment compensation.

Steve Eggleston on October 17, 2013 at 11:50 AM

Can Mooch’s garden be saved?

That’s the real question…..

Electrongod on October 17, 2013 at 11:17 AM

White House staff was allowed to water it, but not to weed it, so the damage is insignificant.

More important, there was no interruption of the ‘Lobshter Express’, the weekly air force freighter bringing in shipments of Maine lobshter.

slickwillie2001 on October 17, 2013 at 12:02 PM

OT: dear leader taking his victory and still bashing the gop
Don’t blame me…
 
How can they work with this idioty
 
cmsinaz on October 17, 2013 at 11:06 AM

 

Bashing Rush
 
Puhleeze
 
cmsinaz on October 17, 2013 at 11:07 AM

 
I’ll defer to Genuine. He nailed this one last night:
 

Like I said, you guys blame anyone and everyone for you own failures, because it’s the only way to can continue to believe your own delusions about the world. It always could have juuuuuust worked out if it weren’t for the big conspiracy holding you guys back. The media. The rino’s. The stupid American people.
 
But you’re fast running out of friends after repeatedly screwing everyone else with YOUR maniacal insistences and then the ensuing spitting in everyone else’s faces when they inevitably fail.
 
YOU are everything YOU claim hate.
 
Genuine on October 16, 2013 at 7:53 PM

rogerb on October 17, 2013 at 12:02 PM

How much will the national debt jump today or as Obama said, will the debt stay the same with the increase in the debt ceiling?

My guess is the debt jumps $400 billion +/-. More than the worst year under Bush and the republican congress.

jukin3 on October 17, 2013 at 2:03 PM

So why is gas still over three bucks: http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/10/16/U-S-Now-the-World-s-Number-One-Supplier-of-Oil

davidk on October 17, 2013 at 10:55 AM

I’m guessing it’s because the Dollar doesn’t have the same value it did in the past. Seems to be challenges out there to replace the Dollar as the currency of choice for international markets/trading as well.

Dr. ZhivBlago on October 17, 2013 at 3:31 PM

How much will the national debt jump today or as Obama said, will the debt stay the same with the increase in the debt ceiling?

My guess is the debt jumps $400 billion +/-. More than the worst year under Bush and the republican congress.

jukin3 on October 17, 2013 at 2:03 PM

All those ‘unusual measures’ that have been used to avoid hitting the debt limit now have to be relieved, so yes there will be a huge leap.

slickwillie2001 on October 17, 2013 at 4:32 PM

This makes me wonder…a federal employee gets furloughed, goes to the unemployment office and collects unemployment checks, the Congress votes to cover the back pay of those same workers during the furlough and reopens the government: Do the employees have to pay back they unemployment checks? After all, they are out no money from the furlough.

If not, it ends up being not only a paid vacation, but one with a bonus thrown in too.

HakerA on October 17, 2013 at 6:25 PM

This makes me wonder…a federal employee gets furloughed, goes to the unemployment office and collects unemployment checks, the Congress votes to cover the back pay of those same workers during the furlough and reopens the government: Do the employees have to pay back they unemployment checks? After all, they are out no money from the furlough.

If not, it ends up being not only a paid vacation, but one with a bonus thrown in too.

HakerA on October 17, 2013 at 6:25 PM

Depends on the state, which runs the UI process. Oregon has already announced that they don’t have to give it back.

slickwillie2001 on October 17, 2013 at 7:22 PM

…oh!…there are still jobless claims?…is there an election?

KOOLAID2 on October 17, 2013 at 10:58 PM