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Chart of first-time unemployment benefit claims for 9-20-12
For the week ending Sept. 15, the Department of Labor reported Thursday, first-time claims for unemployment were a seasonally adjusted 382,000. That was 3,000 less than the previous week's revised number of 385,000, originally reported as 382,000. Economists had forecast the number would be 375,000. Revisions almost always increase the numbers slightly as additional, improved data from the states become available a week after their initial reports. For the same week a year ago, claims were 417,000.

The four-week running average that most analysts prefer because it flattens out the volatility of the weekly numbers, was 377,750. The was an increase of 2,000 from the previous week's revised average of 375,750.

In all programs, including federal emergency extensions, the total number of people claiming benefits for the week ending Sept. 1 was 5,173,597, a decrease of 217,823 from the previous week. There were 6,887,930 persons claiming benefits in all programs in the comparable week of 2011.

Most of the time, only about 35 percent of out of work Americans are eligible to receive benefits. That's because they must have been laid off through no fault of their own and must have had to work a minimum amount of time, usually a year, to collect.

But the recession that began in December 2007 greatly increased the eligible category because millions were laid off as the economy soured. At one point, about 70 percent of those laid off received benefits. Normally, that would have meant 26 weeks of state-provided benefits and then nothing, the idea being that few people would be out of work for more than half a year. But the severity of the recession spurred Congress to pass a series of emergency extensions that provided up to an additional 73 weeks of benefits. That was reduced to 40 extra weeks in the worst hit states as part of budget deal in February.

The extensions, however, are set to expire at the end of the year. If Congress does not renew them, an entirely possible situation, newly jobless Americans would only be eligible for 26 weeks no matter how long they remained out of work. For the first time in more than half a century, a few states have reduced the number of weeks they will provide benefits from 26 weeks to as low as 12 weeks depending on how high the state's unemployment rate is.

Heidi Shierholz at the Economic Policy Institute writes:

Only around a quarter of today’s unemployed workers are receiving regular state UI benefits, the lowest share on record. This means that if emergency extended benefits are not included in Congress’ continuing appropriations legislation, only around a quarter of this country’s nearly 13 million unemployed would receive UI, despite the fact that there are more than three unemployed workers for every job opening.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Thu Sep 20, 2012 at 06:35 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos Economics and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (11+ / 0-)

    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 Sep 20, 2012 at 06:35:10 AM PDT

  •  Once again... (0+ / 0-)

    When the unemployment claims news is worse than expected, these diaries go right to the front page.  When the news has been good, they have gone to the diaries -- and sometimes never make the front page.

    I really have to question the editorial decision-making here.  Meteor Blades -- you have said to me previously that you don't make that call.  Who does?

    "This is not class warfare. It's math." - Barack Obama 9/19/11

    by DaveV on Thu Sep 20, 2012 at 06:47:43 AM PDT

  •  And cue faux Republican outrage in 3, 2, 1..... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    at what point can we dismiss the "expected numbers" which are almost always wrong; the result of which makes things look worse than they actually are?

  •  i notice the financial report (0+ / 0-)

    that msnbc shows from cnbc that the commentators from cnbc have a hard time not putting a negative spin on things, oil prices have gone down and the comment was i guess this is good news, i guess that would be a accurate assumption unless you have an agenda to pump up the bad news, thanks cnbc for being a fox noise clone.

  •  i'm not an economist... (0+ / 0-)

    ...and frankly i find these figures really confusing, but it seems to me these figures ultimately seem completely disconnected from the actual official numbers that are announced once a month. i don't get it.

    i always expect good numbers and we get bad numbers, or expect bad numbers that turn out surprisingly good (not for months).

    "An inglorious peace is better than a dishonorable war." -Mark Twain

    by humanistique on Thu Sep 20, 2012 at 07:00:12 AM PDT

  •  chalk another number up there (0+ / 0-)

    Looks like there will be another number to that unemployement that may not be counted. I was just wrongfully  suspended from my job until further notice all because a Manager was showing hostility towards my condition and restriction. He has a job and I do not.

    I'm new here, but am possibly disabled because of the actions my employer walmart took against me. I was in the process of working on ADA accommodation because of my back injury that happen on the job at walmart when I was a cashier. I was clocked in and had to be taken to the hospital. I've been told by many doctors it is sciatica nerve damage near my lower tailbone.

    Every time I have tried to get a MRI done through their CMI I have been denied. The MRI would prove the nerve damage and walmart refuses to allow it happen. Their CMI tried to say I had a pre-existing condition and denied me from their private own workman comp because they opted out of the state one.

    I can't even afford to get the wheel chair I need because of the pain I am in. I suffer at night because of what has happen. I do not sleep anymore instead pass out in pain wake up and the pass out again. I do not know if I'll be able to make rent or pay my car because there are no jobs here. I owe debt already on my college loan that did not get me a job. I was one who was scammed by the schools Art Institute of Dallas.

    There is NO SAFETY NET for those like us. I can't get unemployeement because I have to declare I am healthy and able to return to work which I'm not. The Justice Department is willing to take my case, but it doesn't pay for my wheel chair that I need and can't afford. I can't go anywhere without help and now I can't do anything because I can't make it well to my car from here without intense pain. I've been suffering.

    I'm pretty sure I'll end up homeless before I can get disability because of how long the process takes. I can't afford a doctor because with Walmart suspending me possibly firing me because they are saying I said a swear word because the Manager Provoked me on saying they do not have to provide me a wheel chair plus talked to me when I was off the clock and didn't even want to be in the store. The Manager did a Employer Entrapment trying to provoke a person who is on medication that it is already hard enough to control my emotion, but he set there said because I was a pre-existing condition walmart didn't have to provide me a wheel chair. He wasn't the store Manager and I did not want to talk to to him about my ADA Accommodation.

    What is worse is I was denied as walmart saying I had scoliosis which I have never been told I have before. I never had back problems before. I've been on pain medication now that I can not afford and am scared how bad the pain is going to be because I can not afford a doctors visit since I do not have income. I'm 31 and now part of the 47% s. I can't pay income tax because my employer injured me. I hurt and do not know how much longer I can take the pain.

  •  Republicans & The Chicken Little Syndrome (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Meteor Blades, Eric Nelson

    I'm sure the Republicans and MitttPaul will start in with SEE, SEE, SEE look Obama can't create JOBS and SEE the unemployment rate isn't dropping... Blah, blah, blah...  

    Let's face it - truh of the matter is,
    1. Senate Republicans just defeated the $1B Veterans Jobs Bill which could have helped the thousands of Vets (post 9/11) find and put into jobs... So they're to blame for NOT creating opportunities for jobs.

    2. Before any election job creation always has slowed down while big business waits to see the outcome of the elecion.

    So, stay calm and explain the facts.

    Conservatives say if you don't give the rich more money, they will lose their incentive to invest. As for the poor, they tell us they've lost all incentive because we've given them too much money. -GC

    by cobaltbay on Thu Sep 20, 2012 at 07:42:52 AM PDT

  •  A "recovery?" (0+ / 0-)

    Or, minor/nominal improvements in the lead-up to the next Recession?

    This pretty much says it all...

    ...For the same week a year ago, claims were 417,000.

    [Y-O-Y weekly improvement of -35,000? Not exactly ass-kicking.]

    The four-week running average that most analysts prefer because it flattens out the volatility of the weekly numbers, was 377,750. The was an increase of 2,000 from the previous week's revised average of 375,750...

    Oh, wait! I forgot, it's the new normal...

    "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

    by bobswern on Thu Sep 20, 2012 at 09:21:29 AM PDT

  •   More than 3 to 1 worlers for every job, could.. (0+ / 0-)

    ..and should be the next campaign thrust for the Obama administration as it turns the focus to down ballot races that so far haven't been a big part of the news cycle.

    Narrow the focus on the republican house to a fine point, and do it now. The American jobs act = immediate jobs and was fought off for no good reason.

    And yesterday the Senate stopped the Veterans Jobs Bill
    This is absolutely ..expletive.

    This is the issue - jobs, and telling it ends any mystery about why republicans in all the down ballot races need to be kicked out of every office, judgeship, or appointment they hold.

    Thx MB - people need to get this imo

  •  EUC08 problems are still very real (0+ / 0-)

    At least someone is reporting about the unemployed situation. Thank you for mentioning us and the trouble we face.

    Only around a quarter of today’s unemployed workers are receiving regular state UI benefits, the lowest share on record. This means that if emergency extended benefits are not included in Congress’ continuing appropriations legislation, only around a quarter of this country’s nearly 13 million unemployed would receive UI, despite the fact that there are more than three unemployed workers for every job opening.
    And thankfully, someone is speaking the unspeakable facts: the EUC08 program goes away at the end of the year and there are still millions who will lose aid, overnight. Will there be millions of new jobs to fill the gap in the next few months? And what about the money that immediately stops going into the economy and the effect that will have?

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year indeed...its a Scrooge Fantasy come true!

    Now that it looks like Romney is down the tubes for good....Have people calmed down enough to also finally realize that I am not off my rocker about the implementation problems in the EUC08 program?

    Here some more facts, that help prove that there is a serious implementation error that has been published in the EUC08 program by our very incompetent and corrupt Department of Labor Employment & Training Administration. This mistake has affected determinations, payments and adjudication very negatively for more than four years.

    Billions of dollars in ARRA funds have been kept from the economy, and millions of unemployed struggling workers and families. This program may need to be extended into 2013, and its about time there was an investigation into my mountain of evidence that shows the implementation problems that are being ignored by this administration.

    Here again is more proof, and it comes from the 1990's Department of Labor this time (showing the same problem I have described during our own recession):

    Recovery Implementation Lessons from the Past

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