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Jobless Claims in U.S. Rose 35,000 Last Week to 445,000

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  • Jobless Claims in U.S. Rose 35,000 Last Week to 445,000

    Jan 13, 2011

    The number of first-time claims for unemployment insurance payments jumped in the first week of 2011 to the highest level since October as more Americans lined up to file following the holidays.

    Initial jobless claims rose by 35,000 to 445,000, according to Labor Department data released today. The median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey called for 410,000 filings. The average number of applications over the past four weeks, a less-volatile gauge, increased to 416,500.

    Today’s figures follow a report last week showing the U.S. added fewer jobs than forecast in December, underscoring the concern of Federal Reserve policy makers about the labor market. Economic growth may need to accelerate further and encourage companies to ramp up the hiring necessary to reduce the unemployment rate.

    “Firms won’t go out and hire a lot of people until they’re confident that demand is increasing,” Scott Brown, chief economist at Raymond James & Associates Inc. in St. Petersburg, Florida, said before the report. “Demand is improving but it isn’t enough.”

    The Bloomberg median forecast was based on 46 economists’ projections that ranged from 380,000 to 420,000. The increase from the previous week was the biggest since July 17.

    The first week of the year is “historically the highest week for claims,” before seasonal adjustment, because of the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, a Labor Department spokesman said as the figures were released. He said that the four-week average for claims was a more useful measure.

    While the Labor Department adjusts for a large pickup in filings around the start of a year, actual applications for jobless benefits were even higher, he said.

    Continuing Claims

    The number of people continuing to receive jobless benefits fell by 248,000 in the week ended Jan. 1 to 3.88 million, the lowest level since Oct. 25, 2008. The continuing claims figure does not include the number of Americans receiving extended benefits under federal programs.

    Those who’ve use up their traditional benefits and are now collecting emergency and extended payments increased by about 128,000 to 4.64 million in the week ended Dec. 25.

    The unemployment rate among people eligible for benefits fell to 3.1 percent in the week ended Jan. 1, from 3.3 percent the prior week, today’s report showed.

    Thirty-four states and territories reported an increase in first-time unemployment claims for the week ended Jan. 1, while 19 had a decrease.

    Initial jobless claims reflect weekly firings and tend to fall as job growth -- measured by the monthly non-farm payrolls report -- accelerates.

    Fed’s Bernanke

    Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke last week said the unemployment rate will probably fall slowly even with a pickup in U.S. growth this year.

    At the pace of improvement projected by Fed officials, “it could take four to five more years for the job market to normalize fully,” Bernanke said Jan. 7 in testimony to the Senate Budget Committee.

    The U.S. added 103,000 jobs in December, fewer than economists had forecast in a Bloomberg survey, according to Labor Department data released Jan. 7. The unemployment rate fell to 9.4 percent, from 9.8 percent a month earlier, partly because fewer people were in the labor force.

    Synovus Financial Corp., a Columbus, Georgia-based bank, on Jan. 10 said it plans to cut about another 850 positions this year to streamline operations and save money. The company eliminated 300 jobs in 2010.

    Some companies are hiring. Ford Motor Co. said Jan. 10 it plans to hire more than 7,000 workers in the next two years, including engineers with expertise in battery-powered cars.

    Ford will hire 4,000 factory workers and 750 engineers this year and add 2,500 hourly workers next year, Mark Truby, a company spokesman, said in an interview in Detroit.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-0...o-445-000.html
    8/4/2008 MAKE SURE AND VISIT Tobee's Blogs! http://www.bkforum.com/blog.php?32727-tobee43 and all are welcome to bk forum's Florida State Questions and Answers on BK http://www.bkforum.com/group.php?groupid=9

  • #2
    Without the seasonal adjustment, claims were up by nearly 200,000 to 770,413. I read this in a Reuters report just a few minutes ago. As always, my issue is that the REAL unemployment numbers are never used...probably not even truly known.
    Filed Ch 7 Pro Se 11-18-2010 341 Meeting 12-16-2010 Discharged 2-15-2011
    New Job 7-2011

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by chicagoannie View Post
      Without the seasonal adjustment, claims were up by nearly 200,000 to 770,413. I read this in a Reuters report just a few minutes ago. As always, my issue is that the REAL unemployment numbers are never used...probably not even truly known.
      exactly...i guess they think we are pretty dumb??? unreal....
      8/4/2008 MAKE SURE AND VISIT Tobee's Blogs! http://www.bkforum.com/blog.php?32727-tobee43 and all are welcome to bk forum's Florida State Questions and Answers on BK http://www.bkforum.com/group.php?groupid=9

      Comment


      • #4
        Why are jobless claims so high this week; Is the government data fudging?
        13 January 2011

        Let me say at the outset I don’t think the US government’s seasonal adjustments are accurate. Nevertheless, I will say this: they are close enough for me, especially when looking at trends instead of absolute levels. What I’m concerned about is the direction of the numbers more than the level. If the unemployment rate or jobless claims are going up that’s bad, if they are going down, that’s good.

        As for the actual numbers, jobless claims are about as clean and real time a number as you are going to get. I like this data set. The states tally up how many people filed claims for unemployment insurance and pass this on to the federal government. The US federal government then seasonally-adjusts this number based on a factor that they work out well in advance of the jobless claims report. For example, the seasonal adjustment factors are already set through 2 April 2011. Between now and then, the US Department of Labor will release an updated seasonal adjustment chart through to the end of 2011.

        I think it is important to realize that the adjustments are made well in advance for two reasons:

        1. This is the source of inaccuracy. There is no way you can seasonally adjust a holiday season jobless claims number ten months in advance going into or exiting a downturn with great accuracy. It’s not doable. That doesn’t mean that the statisticians have any nefarious designs in making their initial adjustment factors. It’s just that the economy is too complex to make these calculations with that much of a lead time.

        2. The only way the jobless claims number can really be ‘manipulated’ is by under- or over-reporting from the states. The states release their numbers separately and the Feds just compile these numbers and seasonally adjust them. So unless you think some state is faking their numbers, there is absolutely no reason to doubt the composite number.

        So, this past week’s (seasonally-adjusted) initial claims number was 445,000. That’s not a good number. It is 35,000 more than last week and 34,000 above the moving average. However, the real number of first time claims for unemployment insurance was an eye-popping 770,413. Get it? 325,000 MORE than the adjusted number. One econblogger called this "data fudging extraordinaire". Is it?

        You tell me. Here are the charts for non-seasonally adjusted initial claims (i.e. the real numbers)



        and for adjusted initial claims.



        What you should notice from these two charts is that the jobs market is very, very seasonal. Basically it jumps up every holiday season and then drops back into the summer. It happens this way every year. So when you see a big number like 770,000, it’s due to seasonality. Last week, I mentioned this, writing:

        we are in a heavy seasonal adjustment period. The seasonal factor for this past week’s number was 141.0. Next week will see the heaviest adjustment as seasonal jobs come to an end. We won’t get a normal number until early February.

        The seasonal adjustment was a massive 173.0 this past week making 770,413 magically turn into a much nicer 445,000. In plain English, that means for every 173 people who filed first time jobless claims, the stats guys reported only 100 filings in order to make this number an apples to apples comparison with all the other numbers during the year. It’s like when they told you that 453,000 filed for benefits for the first time in the week ended 11 Sep 2010 when in fact only 341,664 people did. That week saw the lowest seasonal adjustment factor for the year of 75.5.

        So here’s my take: if you look at the numbers on a year-over-year basis, we are looking better than in 2010 or 2009 but not anywhere close to what we saw before that. Here are the comparable numbers for the past twelve years. They have always been the highest number for the year.

        (Week ended)
        08 Jan 2011: 770,413
        09 Jan 2010: 815,593
        10 Jan 2009: 956,791
        12 Jan 2008: 547,943
        13 Jan 2007: 506,709
        07 Jan 2006: 555,114
        08 Jan 2005: 693,776
        10 Jan 2004: 677,897
        11 Jan 2003: 724,111
        12 Jan 2002: 799,246
        13 Jan 2001: 599,562
        08 Jan 2000: 606,897

        Notice how each and every one of these numbers is above 500,000 in good times and bad. Look, I tend to be a skeptical sort. But there is no conspiracy here. No one is doctoring the numbers. The US jobs picture is improved but remains relatively weak.

        http://www.creditwritedowns.com/2011...ss-claims.html
        “When fascism comes to America, it’ll be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross” — Sinclair Lewis

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by WhatMoney View Post
          Why are jobless claims so high this week; Is the government data fudging?
          13 January 2011

          Let me say at the outset I don’t think the US government’s seasonal adjustments are accurate. Nevertheless, I will say this: they are close enough for me, especially when looking at trends instead of absolute levels. What I’m concerned about is the direction of the numbers more than the level. If the unemployment rate or jobless claims are going up that’s bad, if they are going down, that’s good.

          As for the actual numbers, jobless claims are about as clean and real time a number as you are going to get. I like this data set. The states tally up how many people filed claims for unemployment insurance and pass this on to the federal government. The US federal government then seasonally-adjusts this number based on a factor that they work out well in advance of the jobless claims report. For example, the seasonal adjustment factors are already set through 2 April 2011. Between now and then, the US Department of Labor will release an updated seasonal adjustment chart through to the end of 2011.

          I think it is important to realize that the adjustments are made well in advance for two reasons:

          1. This is the source of inaccuracy. There is no way you can seasonally adjust a holiday season jobless claims number ten months in advance going into or exiting a downturn with great accuracy. It’s not doable. That doesn’t mean that the statisticians have any nefarious designs in making their initial adjustment factors. It’s just that the economy is too complex to make these calculations with that much of a lead time.

          2. The only way the jobless claims number can really be ‘manipulated’ is by under- or over-reporting from the states. The states release their numbers separately and the Feds just compile these numbers and seasonally adjust them. So unless you think some state is faking their numbers, there is absolutely no reason to doubt the composite number.

          So, this past week’s (seasonally-adjusted) initial claims number was 445,000. That’s not a good number. It is 35,000 more than last week and 34,000 above the moving average. However, the real number of first time claims for unemployment insurance was an eye-popping 770,413. Get it? 325,000 MORE than the adjusted number. One econblogger called this "data fudging extraordinaire". Is it?

          You tell me. Here are the charts for non-seasonally adjusted initial claims (i.e. the real numbers)



          and for adjusted initial claims.



          What you should notice from these two charts is that the jobs market is very, very seasonal. Basically it jumps up every holiday season and then drops back into the summer. It happens this way every year. So when you see a big number like 770,000, it’s due to seasonality. Last week, I mentioned this, writing:

          we are in a heavy seasonal adjustment period. The seasonal factor for this past week’s number was 141.0. Next week will see the heaviest adjustment as seasonal jobs come to an end. We won’t get a normal number until early February.

          The seasonal adjustment was a massive 173.0 this past week making 770,413 magically turn into a much nicer 445,000. In plain English, that means for every 173 people who filed first time jobless claims, the stats guys reported only 100 filings in order to make this number an apples to apples comparison with all the other numbers during the year. It’s like when they told you that 453,000 filed for benefits for the first time in the week ended 11 Sep 2010 when in fact only 341,664 people did. That week saw the lowest seasonal adjustment factor for the year of 75.5.

          So here’s my take: if you look at the numbers on a year-over-year basis, we are looking better than in 2010 or 2009 but not anywhere close to what we saw before that. Here are the comparable numbers for the past twelve years. They have always been the highest number for the year.

          (Week ended)
          08 Jan 2011: 770,413
          09 Jan 2010: 815,593
          10 Jan 2009: 956,791
          12 Jan 2008: 547,943
          13 Jan 2007: 506,709
          07 Jan 2006: 555,114
          08 Jan 2005: 693,776
          10 Jan 2004: 677,897
          11 Jan 2003: 724,111
          12 Jan 2002: 799,246
          13 Jan 2001: 599,562
          08 Jan 2000: 606,897

          Notice how each and every one of these numbers is above 500,000 in good times and bad. Look, I tend to be a skeptical sort. But there is no conspiracy here. No one is doctoring the numbers. The US jobs picture is improved but remains relatively weak.

          http://www.creditwritedowns.com/2011...ss-claims.html
          oh no! i have to somewhat agree with you here....missed you by the way...LOL!! i just know you missed me...

          i just believe jobs are not keeping up with improving the economic picture as a whole...and while i wholly agree that really seasonal adjustment must be kept in mind, i also believe the pace of job growth is not strong enough to get us out of this mess for the time being.

          and actually, i don't really think it's the "states" withholding the correct information...i think or believe it's the media...just like the foreclosures...we aren't getting exact numbers and most likely will never get them.

          but interesting stuff WhatMoney...thanks.
          8/4/2008 MAKE SURE AND VISIT Tobee's Blogs! http://www.bkforum.com/blog.php?32727-tobee43 and all are welcome to bk forum's Florida State Questions and Answers on BK http://www.bkforum.com/group.php?groupid=9

          Comment


          • #6
            and actually, i don't really think it's the "states" withholding the correct information...i think or believe it's the media...just like the foreclosures...we aren't getting exact numbers and most likely will never get them.
            Bzzzzzzzzzzzzt - You are hopeless tobee. The "media" just reports the federal numbers. They report adjusted and unadjusted numbers. There is NO conspiracy anywhere here - the numbers are available to anyone that looks for them, and as you can see, private economists are free to analyze and explain the numbers to the general public.

            Perhaps what you really mean is that the general public is too busy twittering one-liners, and so they are too stupid and misinformed to understand the numbers. Twittering and texting have to be the worst thing that's ever happened. Without any depth of understanding, which you never get with a one-liner, we are producing generations of idiots. And that bothers me, cause how are these idiots going to find a job and pay for my Social Security!
            /rant off
            “When fascism comes to America, it’ll be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross” — Sinclair Lewis

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by WhatMoney View Post
              Bzzzzzzzzzzzzt - You are hopeless tobee. The "media" just reports the federal numbers. They report adjusted and unadjusted numbers. There is NO conspiracy anywhere here - the numbers are available to anyone that looks for them, and as you can see, private economists are free to analyze and explain the numbers to the general public.

              Perhaps what you really mean is that the general public is too busy twittering one-liners, and so they are too stupid and misinformed to understand the numbers. Twittering and texting have to be the worst thing that's ever happened. Without any depth of understanding, which you never get with a one-liner, we are producing generations of idiots. And that bothers me, cause how are these idiots going to find a job and pay for my Social Security!
              /rant off
              worse yet, how are they going to run this country...or world for that matter...

              don't know and have never seen a twitter...and as for texting you already know i can't spell..

              i'm not exactly hopeless my friend....just know that facts are not always what they seem...none the less, it's a scary future for us to face.

              i for one, i suppose, lucky since one of in this house already began collecting ss early. so i'm thinking about stopping to worry about what's going to happen when i'm back in the sea bottom...dust to sand...and all that.

              and i don't really know if that's exactly true about the media...i do think it's a conspiracy...we are only told what "they" want us to hear...they being ....from where ever "they" are and "whom" ever they are....i don't know. i just feel it in my bones and the bones never lie.
              8/4/2008 MAKE SURE AND VISIT Tobee's Blogs! http://www.bkforum.com/blog.php?32727-tobee43 and all are welcome to bk forum's Florida State Questions and Answers on BK http://www.bkforum.com/group.php?groupid=9

              Comment

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