Initial weekly unemployment claims for January 25, 2010

Initial weekly unemployment claims increased 22,000 to 496,000. There is a lot of statistical noise in initial weekly unemployment claims and one can guarantee this number will be revised. So why is this important? We're seeing a trend at this point and it's increasing, not decreasing as the green shooters, cyclical folks believe it would.



The 4 week moving average since the start of this recession:



A logarithmic view, to smooth out data noise, for just a one year period:



This is not good. For comparison's sake, let's take initial unemployment claims from 1980 to 1983. Here you can see a well defined downward slope (decline in weekly claims), unlike the graphs above.



What does all of this mean? Well, for one, the sad $15 billion dollar Jobs Bill the Senate just passed is completely inadequate and the U.S. not only needs a direct jobs program, but a host of other policy changes to get people back to work.

Don't even think it's all weather and snow. I do not like initial unemployment claims as a metric, which is why the above graphs use logs and are looking at trends (slope). That said, we clearly have an upward trend in initial weekly unemployment claims.

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Where is the direct jobs program?

Yesterday, Huffpost asked the question - why doesn't the government just hire people? I have been thinking the same thing for quite some time now.

Did you know? Back in Nov-December 2008, Christina Romer advised then president-elect Obama that he would need $1.2 trillion stimulus in order to be effective. He proposed a lot less and compromised further by including tax cuts (least bang for buck) at the expense of infrastructure spending - just to get 1 or 2 republican votes.

And now, several hundred thousands job less, he is proposing another stimulus but is calling it a "jobs bill". - Financial Information for the Rest of Us.

they won't do what is needed

They will not tackle insourcing and outsourcing. Just yesterday John "Benedict Arnold" Kerry introduced yet another guest worker Visa and this time they are trying to claim that foreigners create startups and innovate. This is pure statistical bullshit frankly and it's just another thing to labor arbitrage U.S. STEM. It's more like bringing in more foreigners so they can set up some sort of offshore outsourcing deal.

No requirement to hire Americans, keep funds in the U.S. and most importantly, the fact Americans cannot get funding to do their own startups!

They will not cancel federal and state offshore outsourcing contracts, they will not stop bringing in 1.5 million guest workers, which has been proved over and over to be a labor arbitrage mechanism and then...

on any sort of direct jobs program, they won't do a damn thing. The AAM has the best detailed analysis I have seen, it clearly would work, the focus is on investment, long term valued added to the national economy, I mean it's really well done and that study is being completely ignored in D.C.

They are handing out contracts via no-bid deals to our usual suspects and also it's clearly political too.

They won't tackle China on currency manipulation and they will not put together a national industrial policy, a national trade policy.....nada to strengthen the U.S. middle class.

I mean there is spending and there is spending and another thing they should be doing is keeping capital investments in the U.S.

Ugh, I could go on and on but it's just so stuck on stupid here.

update on weekly initial unemployment claims, March 3, 2010

Firstly, this is one noisy stat. So, while the headlines are all OMG, a 29,000 drop, I'd go with the 4 week moving average of 3,500 drop.

This last week's revisions are only 2k higher so this is significant, but that said, I just looked at the not seasonally adjusted and it's a 17k increase, so what can I say, this is beyond belief noisy and one needs to wait for the revisions and to see an overall trend line.

this week's initial unemployment claims.

The big kahuna is out tomorrow, monthly unemployment figures so I'm saving my graphs and fingers for that one.