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chart on jobless benefits
(Rachel Maddow Blog)
For the the week ending May 19, seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits were 370,000, the Department of Labor announced Thursday morning. This marked a decrease of 2,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 372,000. The four-week moving average, which flattens volatility in the weekly numbers, was also 370,000, a decrease of 5,500 from the previous week's revised average of 375,500.

For all programs, including the federal government's emergency extensions for states hardest hit by the Great Recession, the total number of people claiming benefits for the week ending May 5 was 6,168,620, a decrease of 105,004 from the previous week. Extended benefits were available in Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, and West Virginia.

Because of a budget deal in Congress, more and more Americans who have been employed for more than six months will be losing their unemployment benefits from now until September because the number of weeks they are eligible to receive them is dropping from 99 to 63. In addition, the unemployment rate in some states where joblessness was high enough to trigger various levels of extended benefits has fallen below that threshold. Even in states where this is not the case, hundreds of thousands of out-of-work Americans are losing their benefits as they reach the end of their eligibility.

The first-time claims figure released each week is an "advance" number, which is revised the following week when statistics are improved by better information from the states. For instance, the advance figure for the week ending May 12 was 370,000 and revised this week to 372,000. Over the past seven months, since Nov. 5, the revisions have been upward for 23 weeks and downward for five weeks. During that period, the average revision has been about 3 percent.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Thu May 24, 2012 at 06:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, Progressive Hippie, and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  just think... (12+ / 0-)

    of all our returning Iraq & Afghanistan veterans who could be BUILDING AMERICA for a change by rebuilding our dilapidated roads and bridges.
    But Republicans say NOOoooo - that would create PRIVATE jobs and boost the economy, and we NEED a "bad economy" to make Pres. Obama a one-termer.

    "Tax cuts for the 1% create jobs." -- Republicans, HAHAHA - in China

    by MartyM on Thu May 24, 2012 at 06:06:19 AM PDT

  •  I'm a Veteran (12+ / 0-)

    so, I get a little something every month, but my heart goes out to the unemployed, and I pray that all of them will find jobs soon.

    "May today be as great as yesterday, and tomorrow be greater than both!" Author, Sharon B.

    by secret38b on Thu May 24, 2012 at 06:26:46 AM PDT

  •  Why does Obama hate capitalism and why does he (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sunbro, Supavash, GOPGO2H3LL, askew

    keep dividing America. Go back to Kenya ya Socialist Commie Fascist!

    Romney - 2012 - If You Want Honesty, Vote For The Other Guy!

    by kitebro on Thu May 24, 2012 at 07:03:54 AM PDT

    •  Uhhh....I think you're on the wrong blog site.... (0+ / 0-)

      But to answer your comment......

      You can't really be a Socialist and a Fascist at the same time......

      •  Snark detector (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Meteor Blades, PorridgeGun

        on the fritz?

        Romney - 2012 - If You Want Honesty, Vote For The Other Guy!

        by kitebro on Thu May 24, 2012 at 07:42:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Nazi Germany sure did a pretty good job (0+ / 0-)

        of mixing fascism and a socialist economy!

        •  Bullshit right-wing talking point. Just... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Eric Nelson, Larsstephens

          ...because the NSDAP has socialist in its name does not mean that the party was socialist once it came to power.

          Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

          by Meteor Blades on Thu May 24, 2012 at 10:23:33 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  What? (0+ / 0-)

            You must be joking, MB.

            Hitler socialized the entire economy.  Granted, his methods were abhorrent, but if this is not socialism, I don't know what is..  Forced socialism is still socialism.

            His socialist policies forced women to quit jobs so men would be able to take them.  He provided stipends for women to quit working and money to spend on household goods so men could work.  Is that not social engineering??

            He socialized organizations for youth, workers, etc. etc..

            He forced industry to reduce the number of hours a worker could work in a week so more employees could be hired. Hello?

            Granted he abolished unions.. he could not have any organizations that were not under his control.

            However much you dislike the society Hitler set up, he socialized a good many parts of the economy and society.

            Was it pure socialism? I don't know.. can you get a definition of what that is?  But Nazi Germany sought to increase the standards of the working class through social programs - wage and price controls, limits on dividends by private industry, and the direction by the central government of what industries were to be developed.

            •  A socialism in which workers have no... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              ...rights is the joke. They certainly did not own the means of production, could not organize and competed against slave labor. While the government strongly directed the war industry and put ever more resources into it as the war continued, ownership remained in the hands of capitalists who had significant power over their employees.

              From Alan Bullock's A Study in Tyranny:

              "While Hitler's attitude towards liberalism was one of contempt, towards Marxism he showed an implacable hostility … Ignoring the profound differences between Communism and Social Democracy in practice and the bitter hostility between the rival working class parties, he saw in their common ideology the embodiment of all that he detested — mass democracy and a leveling egalitarianism as opposed to the authoritarian state and the rule of an elite; equality and friendship among peoples as opposed to racial inequality and the domination of the strong; class solidarity versus national unity; internationalism versus nationalism."

              Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

              by Meteor Blades on Thu May 24, 2012 at 08:36:50 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Hogwash. Nazi Germany had nothing (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Meteor Blades

          socialist that wasn't in concentration camps. Ownership of the German means of production remained solidly in private hands throughout the duration of Hitler's reign.

  •  Don't worry, Mitt says he can have unemployment (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    at 6% in two years......


    10,000 Americans are turning 65 EVERY DAY..!!!  Unemployment will be at 6% in two years REGARDLESS of who is running the government....

    I think the polytheist needs to grow a backbone..!!!!

    "Let GM go"...."Let bin Laden go"...."Let housing go".....This guy isn't interested in doing anything...except cutting taxes for his Morgan Stanley buddies...!!!!

    •  people turning (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      65 doesn't change the unemployment rate, since they won't be counted as in the workforce or looking for a job.

      in short, they are not part of the UI calculation.

      •  You're both right, sort of (0+ / 0-)

        For statistal analysis, of course you are correct

         The OP is correct in that a portion of that 10k every month will be vacating jobs, thus creating potential openings for other people out of work.  

        Actually, MBs diary is one reason I keep coming back here no matter how much this place galls me.  

        I just got a job offer yesterday.  The salary is half of what I made last year while self employed.  The calculation I must make is, when will the economy improve, and when it does, how much will the salary I've been offered hamper me when or if I switch jobs?  The interviewer always asks what your current salary is, and adds $5k for the offer.  

        Looking at this chart, it could take ten years to rebound fully.   I myself will be 65 in ten years.  So I should take the offer and not complain, right?  After all of I don't take it, my ui could run out, and would if I reported not taking an offer.  If I try to renegotiate, I could end up having the offer withdrawn.  

        Now the OP comes in with data I hadn't considered.  Maybe playing hardball would not be so dangerous?  

        If you haven't earned my vote when the time comes, don't blame me when you lose.

        by Nada Lemming on Thu May 24, 2012 at 08:14:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Let your points stand for themselves (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      That's a very good point about Baby-boomers getting to retirement age -- but I think you should be very careful of making coded attacks on religious groups:
      "the polytheist"
      That's not reflective of Democratic values, imo.

    •  For the record, people turning 65 cannot... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      ...retire with full SS benefits. Moreover, the reduction in the labor force is less than one-third due to retirements.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Thu May 24, 2012 at 10:24:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  So Romney (0+ / 0-)

    How ya gonna run from THESE numbers?

    I'm thinkin' he's got the "spin machine" working overtime

    The truth is sometimes very inconvenient.

    by commonsensically on Thu May 24, 2012 at 07:49:38 AM PDT

  •  I wonder how many of those (0+ / 0-)

    newly unemployed are blaming Obama's policies for being out of work?  How many of them will vote for Romney because he is "a businessman who understands how to put people to work"?

    What a rude awakening they would have if Romney were elected and they're never able to find work again.

    "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

    by SueDe on Thu May 24, 2012 at 07:51:52 AM PDT

    •  I think the GOP will frame this (0+ / 0-)

      not as a result of Obama's policies, but rather a lack of any policy.  This administration has not set out any ideas since last year regarding putting people back to work.  And those proposed policies were all government-created jobs..

      President Obama is running on this:  The economy is getting a little better.. stick with me and it will get even more better over the next 4 years.  And this is what Romney will run against.

      •  I don't see any problem (0+ / 0-)

        with government-created jobs.  The important thing is putting people back to work; doing so has enormous benefits beyond just providing a paycheck.  People's skills do not atrophy; their work habits aren't broken; panic at not being able to ever work again is reduced; it is easier to feel that they are doing something worthwhile; their self-esteem is buoyed; respect of family members is not lost and stress in both the individual and families is lessened.

        In fact, I'm in favor of resurrecting the CCC, particularly for young workers, middle managers and engineers who need jobs.  If the organization lasted only through the next presidential term - four years - the positive effects would be long-lasting, a lot of needed work would be done, and the private job market would have more time to improve.

        "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

        by SueDe on Thu May 24, 2012 at 08:59:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  figures question.... (0+ / 0-)

    If new unemployment applications are averaging 370,000 per week... That would be  4.4 million layed off workers per year.... but yet we tout that President Obama has created 4.2 million jobs since he took office....

    This math doesn't add up to make us look to well.

    What am I missing?

    •  typo... laid off... sorry n/t. (0+ / 0-)
    •  Not apples to apples. (0+ / 0-)

      Obama is at war with radical anti-American terrorists. The radical GOP is at war with American women. Take that and run with it DNC, you inept fucking pikers.

      by GOPGO2H3LL on Thu May 24, 2012 at 08:05:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think because we are actually creating (0+ / 0-)

      jobs a bit faster than that rate.. about 120,000 more jobs are added each month.

      But that is a pretty pitiful number.. 120,000 is just about equal to new workers joining the workforce each month.. so we are basically flatlined.

      As a comparison, Reagan added 4 millions jobs in one year in 1984 leading up to his reelection, even though job growth was just as anemic as now during the first 3 years of his presidency.

      This economy is simply not recovering.

      •  closer to 200k over the last six months (0+ / 0-)

        Jobs have been added at close to 200k per month over the last 6 months[Oct->Apr/6 ~=197.2k].  Still not great, but not bad either.

        Easiest way to explain it.  If unemployment claims are 370k a week, there are 4.5 weeks in a month so that is 1.665 million people laid off a month.  But if they report 200k more jobs, then that means 1.865 million people were hired.  Now there are a number of reasons why someone who stops working wouldn't file for unemployment so the actual churn in the job market is actually a good deal higher than that.  Which should make it obvious why we don't count every hire as a 'job created', but instead talk about the net change in total jobs.

  •  been unemployed for 1.5 years (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nada Lemming

    I really dont care if the rest of the country tanks too at this point... Its hard to get hurt falling when your already on the floor. Especially since I have lost my "right" to be counted as unemployed. Fuck any country that officially refuses to admit its shortcomings, and the citizens of that country who can sit by and not give a damn. May it happen to all of us, so that we may live what we refuse to see.

    Anyway I can thank god that in America, I am still free to spend the last $1.135 of my food stamp money for May ANY WAY I CHOOSE (except for toilet paper or soap, those things not being needed to pull oneself up by ones bootstraps).

  •  Massive Increase in Disability Claims (0+ / 0-)

    I get it, a decrease in unemployment claims can be spun to create a positive picture of the economy-- but the number of claims in hardly the entire story.

    First there's this which nobody seems to know, and I'm surprised the clownservatives haven't latched on to this in a big way as a negative for Obama:

    More than three million more people are now collecting Social Security payments because of disability then were in 2007. A new report from the Obama administration and others suggests that as people lose unemployment benefits, they're going after disability benefits.

    But in tandem with that decrease, another public benefit has been increasing. Since 2007, some 3.4 million Americans have been added to the list of those receiving Social Security Disability Insurance. SSDI, as it's know, pays out some $1,000 a month and also gives people access to Medicare and Medicaid.

    About 10.6 million Americans now receive SSDI benefits which has raised new fears that the Social Security Trust Fund may go broke as early as 2017. According to two new studies, many of those new claimants ran out of unemployment benefits before they applied for SSDI.

    Mark Duggan, a professor at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, said SSDI has always been greatly impacted by economic downturns. The length and size of the current recession, he said, had magnified the impact on SSDI.

    An increase of three million people on disability since 2007? Wow... wonder why I think it's mostly people age 55-65 who are newly on disability?

    On 5/14, this was published here on dKos:

    More than 230,000 people stopped being eligible for unemployment insurance benefits over the weekend—not because they got jobs, but because the emergency extended benefits program providing their benefits was cut as part of the payroll tax deal earlier this year. The number of weeks of benefits available in states drop as unemployment drops, which hit California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Texas on Saturday.

    While "as unemployment drops" may make this sound like good news, consider that California, where 100,000 jobless people will no longer be getting unemployment insurance, has an unemployment rate of 11 percent. Nationally, more than 5 million people have been unemployed for six months or longer, and there are 3.4 job-seekers for every job opening.

    That makes things especially hard for people like Jennifer Moss, a divorced mother of three who has been unemployed since October 2010:

    Look, I know this diary is not about UNemployment, but c'mon. let's not weld the rose colored glasses to our faces just because there's an election in five months and we want Obama to win.

    "I don't feel the change yet". Velma Hart

    by Superpole on Thu May 24, 2012 at 08:38:31 AM PDT

    •  It's the momentum of decrease in new jobs claims.. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      .. which is gaining, which can indicate job growth improvement.
       Not just the measure of workers whose benefits have run out and lost eligibility, making unemployment appear like it's going down.
      Wall street Pit - May 24 2012 (this is from  capital spectator)

      For the moment, however, the case for optimism is still stronger. New claims last week remained near the lowest levels since the recession was formally declared null and void as of mid-2009. That’s a sign that suggests job growth continues to forge on. Indeed, one good report and new claims could touch a new post-recession low.
      So even though as you point out that..
      a decrease in unemployment claims can be spun to create a positive picture of the economy-
      ..which is true, and that more retirees are added to SSDI roles, the trend has some amount of momentum, which i think is what is being examined as well
      This is from a conservative blog.
      •  Right (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Eric Nelson

        I'm trying to be optimistic- believe me.

        But we've had what looked like momentum the past two springs which sputtered out.

        2010 was supposed to be "recovery summer" per prognostication of Mr. Summers. it wasn't.

        "I don't feel the change yet". Velma Hart

        by Superpole on Thu May 24, 2012 at 11:22:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  This is a diary on a report that has... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      ...been appearing weekly at Daily Kos since February 2009. It, like other jobs reports, represents just one data point. Neither the only nor the most important one.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Thu May 24, 2012 at 11:59:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It was kindly suggested to me that, after (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Meteor Blades

      my Fed-Ed extension was abruptly terminated as of May 12, that I simply "find another career." Right, I'll get right on that AS SOON AS I FIGURE OUT HOW TO PAY THE RENT!

      With friends like that . . .

  •  Kind of interesting to see your mark for the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson

    passage of the stimulus plan.

    Supports (weakly) a contention that it didn't impact initial unemployment claims, which appear to have peaked about the time the bill passed (and before any money was paid out).

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Thu May 24, 2012 at 10:01:33 AM PDT

    •  An argument can be made that... (0+ / 0-)

      ...the stimulus passage bolstered the confidence of employers to hang on a while longer before laying anybody off in hopes that the situation would soon improve. If you have a business that is doing poorly but somebody tells you additional money is on the way in two or three months, you probably don't fire your workers at least until you see if the money actually arrives.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Thu May 24, 2012 at 12:03:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Maybe, but where the money was actually (0+ / 0-)

        earmarked -- say research, peopel weren't gong to be fire anyway, and in the construction trades, people get laid off and rehired with the work in a regular cycle.

        Interesting regardless.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Thu May 24, 2012 at 02:13:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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