Jobless Claims Way Worse Than Expected
At the risk of turning this blog into a mopey-economic-data-point-a-day calendar, here's today's mopey economic data point.
The Labor Department said in its weekly report Thursday that initial claims for jobless benefits rose by 12,000 to 472,000 in the week ended June 12, bringing them back up to a level last seen in mid-May. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires had expected claims would fall by 6,000. The previous week's level was also revised upward, from 456,000 to 460,000.
In a more positive sign, however, the four-week moving average -- which aims to smooth volatility in the data -- fell slightly for the week ended June 12 by 500 to 463,500.
Claims lasting more than one week, meanwhile, increased for the week ending June 5. The increase came on the heels of a large decline of 234,000 continuing claims reported last Thursday for the week ending May 29.
The 12,000 rise is considerably worse than it sounds. As noted above, economists' consensus foresaw a decline of 6,000 from the previous week's unrevised data (which were revised upward by another 4,000). So the seasonally adjusted level (472,000) is 22,000 worse than what analysts had predicted (450,000), based on data that was only 6 days old. 4.4% worse.
As we pointed out last week, this week-to-week number is highly volatile, while the 4-week average makes for a somewhat less jumpy barometer. Even so, after rising for 4 straight weeks, that average ticked down just 500 (as the mid-May spike rolled out of the trailing range).
Meanwhile, 472,000 is still comfortably above where we began the year (454,000), despite Obama economic adviser Austin Goolsbee's February insistence that...
We can only hope this is the peak impact. Because if the stimulus fallout is still mounting, and with the aid of a potential economic shock from the oil spill and the asinine economic response thereto, Obama might just pull off the famously elusive double-dip after all.
"The stimulus is peaking in the, you know, around now and the first couple of quarters of this year is when it’s going into its peak impact on the economy..."
Handcrafted by Flip on June 17, 2010 |
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