Skip to main content

unemployment claims
Applications for initial claims seeking unemployment compensation seem to have fallen to a new plateau. Two weeks ago, the Department of Labor reported that applications had plunged to 292,000. But incomplete calculations causes by computer upgrades in California and Nevada skewed those numbers well below the actual count. But now, with the tally back in order, the number of applications are still well below the 339,000 average for the three months ending September 7.

For the week ending September 21, the DOL reported Thursday, seasonally adjusted initial claims were 305,000. That's down 5,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 310,000, originally reported as 309,000. The four-week moving average, which most analysts prefer because it flattens volatility in the weekly figure, was 308,000, down 7,000 from the previous week's revised average of 315,000. The last time initial applications were this low was in September 2007, three months before the Great Recession officially started.

For the comparable week of 2012, initial claims were 367,000.

During the past 40 years, the best 12-month period for initial claims was August 1999-July 2000 when the weekly average was 285,000. For the 12-month period ending September 14, 2013, the weekly average has been 359,000.

For decades, initial unemployment claims were seen as a reasonably good predictor of job growth, with 400,000 new claims being viewed as the level at which healthy expansion  would occur. That number was in the past couple of years dropped to 370,000 as healthy growth failed to appear.

If the way we used to read that claims barometer held true, the monthly job report being released next Friday ought to show strong growth in new jobs. That is especially so since the government's third report released Thursday on growth in the gross domestic product for the April-June period was an annualized 2.5 percent. Consensus expectations were that it would come in at 2.2 percent.

But, over the past three months, seasonally adjusted job growth has only averaged 148,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, well below the 12-month average of 184,000. What's happening is that there are ever-fewer lay-offs but employers aren't hiring as much as would be expected.

So, to reiterate what I noted last week, unless the increase in new jobs starts moving up significantly faster, the value of the first-time claims number as a predictor of job growth has to be questioned.

For both state and the federal emergency unemployment compensation programs, the total number of people claiming benefits for the week ending September 7 was 3,921,399, up 22,769 from the previous week. For the comparable week of 2012, there were 5,173,998 persons claiming benefits in all programs. The drop in total claims is a function of people exhausting their benefits, finding jobs or dropping out of the labor force. Benefit checks have been cut an average of 11 percent because of the federal sequester and several states have also reduced weekly compensation as well as reduced the allowable number of weeks an individual can collect.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Thu Sep 26, 2013 at 08:46 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos Economics and Daily Kos.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (21+ / 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 26, 2013 at 08:46:00 AM PDT

  •  To answer your headline question... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jfromga, dinotrac, Powered Grace

    ...and to confirm your analysis, it would appear that these numbers are flawed, in terms of what's actually happening on Main Street.

    "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 26, 2013 at 08:48:09 AM PDT

    •  The economy is doing little more than... (6+ / 0-)

      ...."modestly better than just treading water."

      "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 26, 2013 at 08:49:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's not so much flawed (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JerryNA, TexasTom, HeyMikey

      as it is incomplete.
         It no longer has the significance it once had.

      None are so hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. -Johann von Goethe

      by gjohnsit on Thu Sep 26, 2013 at 09:36:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It never held significance (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Odysseus

        Look at the actual numbers.  What has always mattered are large changes in the trend of IUC, not their absolute level.  In the 80s recovery, we started adding jobs at a time when the IUC were still over 500k and didn't consistently drop below 400k until the end of 1983 (and then stayed around 400k from mid 84-86).  Yet during this time we created 3.4 million jobs in 1983, 3.8 million in 84, and 2.5 million in 85.  

  •  but I hope you will continue to send your weekly (10+ / 0-)

    analysis.

    The value may be "questioned", but I hope you will continue to share with us your weekly analysis, including your updated graph.

  •  with so few people working, there's less "excess" (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jfromga, TomP, dinotrac, gjohnsit, JerryNA

    for employers to lay off.  More work is getting done with fewer people - so there is less opportunity to continue cost cutting through layoffs.

    I wonder how 1st time claims as a percent of employment (especially as a percent of FT employment) is trending?  I bet it is still elevated.

    300,000 claims before the recession is a much lower percent of the employed population than it is now, I think.

  •  it means the 4 week average is at it's lowest (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP, TheLizardKing

    since June 2007.

    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/...

    -You want to change the system, run for office.

    by Deep Texan on Thu Sep 26, 2013 at 09:02:29 AM PDT

  •  While not a home run for job growth... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP, TexasTom

    low initial claims numbers like these are unambiguously good news.  

    •  No. High numbers would be unambiguously bad, but (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JerryNA, Odysseus, HeyMikey

      low numbers are less meaningful in an economy like ours.

      A bad economy tends to depress frictional unemployment because new jobs are harder to find, and impulsive quits are tempered.

      A long-term bad economy also depresses layoffs because companies tend to be running at depressed staff levels already and the weakest companies have already gone bust.

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

      by dinotrac on Thu Sep 26, 2013 at 09:24:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Disagree. (0+ / 0-)

        Initial unemployment claims have historically not tracked total job separations; there is very low correlation between the two.  Rather, initial claims have historically been high when involuntary separations (layoffs---a bad thing) are high relative to voluntary separations (quits---actually a good thing) and low when quits are high relative to layoffs.  Evidence suggests that's what's happening now; while total separations are still low relative to the last recovery, quits are rising and layoffs are falling.  And it's the change in this mix, rather than people being locked in their jobs, that is primarily causing initial unemployment claims to fall.

        Layoffs are at their lowest level in more than a decade.  Unambiguously good.  Yes, as you note, many companies have cut headcount about as much as they can.  But people aren't getting canned anymore en masse, and that is a good thing.  Plus this is good news for the future as headcount can only rise.  Fewer layoffs necessarily mean fewer unemployment claims.

        Meanwhile, quits are rising, albeit slowly, and quits now outnumber layoffs 3:2.  Also good.  Quits generally mean people are leaving to take---or look for---better jobs.  As seen during the last recovery (2004--07), more quits don't necessarily translate into more initial unemployment claims (e.g., if a new job is lined up in advance).

        I agree we all want to see hiring rising faster.  But I maintain that fewer initial unemployment claims is a good thing.

        •  In addition to the hiring caveat, there is one... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Eric Nelson

          ...other: the percentage of people working part-time remains very high, though it, like the overall unemployment rate has come down. And that "part-time for economic reasons" category probably only includes a small portion who are afflicted by furloughs because most report themselves as full-time workers even though they really aren't.

          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 26, 2013 at 10:44:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  This is a vexing one... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Odysseus

            "Part time for economic reasons," as a percentage of the population and as a percentage of the labor force, rose significantly in the wake of the 2007--09 recession to about the same high level as was seen during the years following the 1980-80 "double dip" and 1991 recessions, as well as a couple recessions in the late 1950s/early 1960s.  While it has come down a bit, it remains elevated.  However, the "part time for economic reasons" category remained relatively low, as a percentage of the same, after the 1970 and 2001 recessions and didn't spike nearly as much after the 1973 recession.  I don't know how much underreporting there is in this category, but there must be some characteristic that differentiates the the first group of recessions above (where part time for economic reasons rises significantly) from the second group (where that category remains subdued).  I have no idea what that characteristic might be.

        •  Feel free to disagree, but we are in an (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Eric Nelson, HeyMikey

          unprecedented economy.  What history should you use for comparison?  The Reagan recession? The Clinton recession?

          Long term unemployment is at levels not seen since the Great Depression.  Wages are not merely stagnant, but going down for all but the top earners.  The middle class has lost a giant hunk of its wealth.

          Comparisons with the past should be taken with giant blocks of salt.

          I will grant you this:  In the most trivial sense, fewer layoffs is likely to be better than more layoffs, but even that isn't absolute.

          Imagine the most extreme case:

          There are 2 employers left. One has 1,000 employees, the other 500.

          The first goes bust and lays everybody off.
          The next month, the second goes bust.

          Nice little trend line -- cause for rejoicing for uncritical number watchers:

          1000->500->0

          Life is wonderful!
          Or not.

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

          by dinotrac on Thu Sep 26, 2013 at 12:05:07 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  JOLTS data go back only to 2000... (0+ / 0-)

            but there is a consistently close relationship throughout the entire period covered by the series between the relationship of quits to layoffs and initial claims.  Of note, the relationship was roughly the same both pre- and post-2008.

            I don't mean to make light of anyone's particular situation, but I don't think there is anything particularly unprecedented about the current economy other than it is only a few years removed from the deepest recession we've seen in generations.  I don't think it is constructive to put a negative spin on positive economic data, and almost every important economic indicator is pointing toward further improvement.  It takes a while to fully recover from a recession these days (similar to 1991 and 2001; Krugman has explained this many times), and I am very optimistic about the next three to five years.

            •  I suppose a Chicago Lawyer might see it that way. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              HeyMikey

              Top earners are doing fine, I hear.

              I'm also optimistic, but I've been optimistic the last two years.
              Probably due to the fact that I started getting work and coming out of the hole I was in.

              But -- I know too many people who are not doing even as well as I am, and I'm a 60 year old man with no hope of retirement.

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

              by dinotrac on Thu Sep 26, 2013 at 01:13:07 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  but (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Aquarius40, Eric Nelson, Odysseus

        You can't file for unemployment if you quit, can you?  If you just mean an impulsive quit allows someone else to get hired, that wouldn't seem  to have a net effect on the job market.  Someone would have to 'impulsively' quit and then start their own business.  No idea how common that was ten years ago or now.  Quits have been trending upwards since 2010, but are only about halfway back to prerecession levels.

        •  You normally can not. Thanks for the (0+ / 0-)

          reminder.

          On the other hand, you can stay in a job long enough to be laid off because you didn't quit and go someplace else.

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

          by dinotrac on Thu Sep 26, 2013 at 12:06:21 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  While it is good that there are fewer (8+ / 0-)

    layoffs, the economy may have fundamentally changed such that it is a less successful predictor of job creation.  

    I think it is thee gross inequality.  It's liek a job tax because luxury goods for a few do not requrie employment of as many as mass consumer goods for many.  Add globalization and the loss of many manufacturing jobs, and increased automization fo manufacturing, and we have a fundamentally changed economy.

    The new "Upstairs/Downstairs" economy.  

    The current battle is whether we have a social welfare state.  The ACA is key in that.  Republcians dream of killing Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security (takers and makers ideology), but if ACA stands and is successful, they will lose.

    It's a long struggle ahead, but it can be "won" through a variety of tactics.   "Victory," however, likely will not be a revolution in which the Left/People exproriate the exproriaters.  It more likely will involve incremental changes over times that reduce inequality and increase democracy in the economy.  It also may be like punctuated equailibrium, a theory of evolution that has slow change with big jumps and then slow change.

    But the current reality is very difficult for many.  

    Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

    by TomP on Thu Sep 26, 2013 at 09:04:03 AM PDT

  •  as previously noted (7+ / 0-)

    by you and many other commenters, here and in the MSM,  the economy has been downsized to the point where many have left the job market, few people feel comfortable enough to seek better employment,  and employers don't hire full time workers, so the numbers don't really work anymore to tell us about the full scope and impact of unemployment in our economy.

    But out here in the hinterlands,  people know there is a new normal, and it isn't good for people, not workers, small businesses with few or no employees, professionals whose work isn't subsidized by the government, lawyers, accountants, doctors who don't see people old enough to be covered by mediare or who fit in medicaid, who put off voluntary surgeries,  there is shrinkage in the client base.  Thrift shops instead of specialty stores litter the small strip shopping centers,  rents are being cut to try to keep tenants and stave off foreclosure.   The real engines of the economy that drive employment are dying, shrivelling up and blowing in the wind.

  •  The EMRATIO hasn't been above 59 percent (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dinotrac, JerryNA, Eric Nelson

    since 2009.  It's been bouncing between 58.4 and 58.7 percent for years.  Of course, out leading elites and some economists are arguing that this is "structural" due to the aging of the Baby boomers.  they ignore the evidence of wage suppression across vast sectors of the economy. We are now at an economic equilibrium below full output and full employment.  We are in a period of hysteresis.

    I don't see the world's elites having the political will to enact policies leading to a return to full employment.  I shudder for the future and for the future of liberal governance.

    "The working class mind is strange and unpredictable" -- Ty Lookwell

    by Illinibeatle on Thu Sep 26, 2013 at 09:12:52 AM PDT

  •  Sharp analysis, and a question I've been asking (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JerryNA, Odysseus, HeyMikey

    for a long time.

    I know too many talented people with good skills -- skills that the economy should need -- either out of work or finding sporadic work to believe that the economy is getting much healthier.

    Quite depressing.

    I've always thought the reading of first-time unemployment claims depended mightily on the surrounding economy.

    In a healthy economy with relatively low economy, they make a fine canary.

    In any economy, high numbers should be cause for concern.

    In a long-term busted economy, low numbers may mean nothing more than we're already at the bottom. No matter how bad things get, we'll still need grocers and doctors and plumbers and people to turn the lights on.

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

    by dinotrac on Thu Sep 26, 2013 at 09:18:15 AM PDT

  •  Good news, bad news (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Meteor Blades, Eric Nelson, HeyMikey

    Without a doubt the layoff problem is over. The hiring problem remains.
      What's more, the hiring we do have is for low-wage jobs.

      Initial claims is like every other metric of the labor market: it is no longer a complete measuring stick. You must look at many different numbers to get a complete picture.

    None are so hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. -Johann von Goethe

    by gjohnsit on Thu Sep 26, 2013 at 09:31:56 AM PDT

    •  Not any different than normal (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HeyMikey

      Read this post at the Atlanta Fed's Blog regarding the percentage of low wage jobs in this recovery vs others and you will see we are right in line with normal.

      Macroblog

      •  I don't know where the guy got his numbers (0+ / 0-)

        because there has never before been a recovery where median wages dropped.

          Therefore his numbers don't tell the whole story either.

        None are so hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. -Johann von Goethe

        by gjohnsit on Thu Sep 26, 2013 at 11:51:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Median wages or medina income? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          HeyMikey

          They are two completely different things you know.  Median income can (has and will) drop due to an aging population that has a higher percentage of retirees.  It can also drop as unemployment rises.  

          Median wages though are what the people working actually earn and those are higher than when the recession ended (and higher than when it began too).  

          •  There is definitely a difference, but at the end.. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            gjohnsit, HeyMikey, Eric Nelson

            ...of 2012, inflation-adjusted median wages were NOT higher than they were at the beginning or end of the recession.

            For instance, median hourly wages for the 5th decile:

            2007: $16.74
            2009: $17.08
            2012: $16.30

            Only for people in the 10th decile was the median wage higher:

            2007: $50.41
            2009: $51.46
            2012: $51.48

            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 26, 2013 at 02:27:46 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  And, just to make it clearer: (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              gjohnsit, HeyMikey, Eric Nelson

              For the second quarter of 2007, before the recession started, median weekly earnings were $690.

              For the second quarter of 2013, median weekly earnings were $776.

              That sounds like an increase, but those are nominal figures. When you adjust for inflation:

              $776 in 2013 = $688 in 2007.

              No gain in six years.

              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 26, 2013 at 03:00:52 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  It means that if the Republicans quit trying to (4+ / 0-)

    destabilize our economy by creating fake crises, by having endless fights about the Debt Ceiling, the Sequester, blackmailing the president over this and that, threatening to default on our nation's obligations, in general, creating uncertainty in the economy, the nation's business of fixing our infrastructure for a growth economy, properly implementing Obamacare which would END the uncertainty in the economy, it would free up business and individuals to resume spending that would cause the economy to grow again.  Business and banking interests are sitting on about $6 Trillion in cash assets between them, and if only 1/3 of that money moved into the economy, we would be at or very near full employment.

    Republicans continuously complain that business can't do anything because of "Uncertainty".  Republican politicians CREATE the uncertainty in our economy for the reasons stated above, their desire to gain political advantage, the people who elected them be dammed.

    Republicans are like alligators. All mouth and no ears.

    by Ohiodem1 on Thu Sep 26, 2013 at 10:14:35 AM PDT

    •  On the question of the debt limit, see (0+ / 0-)

      Republicans are like alligators. All mouth and no ears.

      by Ohiodem1 on Thu Sep 26, 2013 at 10:16:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  On the question of threatening default, see (0+ / 0-)

      Republicans are like alligators. All mouth and no ears.

      by Ohiodem1 on Thu Sep 26, 2013 at 10:18:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  On the question of blackmailing America, see (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eric Nelson, Odysseus

      this.

      These are not new tactics.  Each time the economy looks like it may get some momentum toward a real growth state, the Republicans fake a crisis, a blackmail event, or some other fake event, all INTENDED to hurt the economy, and by extension, to improve their own electoral chances in 2014 and 2016.

      It's time to plot the economy, its growth, its missteps, against various Republican attempts to sabotage it, then to hammer the Republicans again and again with the evidence of their intentional attempts to limit the economy's gain, for their own political gain.

      Republicans are like alligators. All mouth and no ears.

      by Ohiodem1 on Thu Sep 26, 2013 at 10:23:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Do it yourself. (4+ / 0-)

        Make them irrelevant.  There has been no sustained push by the Left to address these issues.

        What Then Can I Do? Ten Ways to Democratize the Economy

        1. Democratize Your Money!
        Put your money in a credit union - then participate in its governance.
        [...]
        2. Seize the Moment: Time For Worker Ownership!
        Help build a worker co-op or encourage interested businesses to transition to employee ownership and adopt social and environmental standards as part of their missions.
        [...]
        3. Take Back Local Government: Demand Participatory Budgeting!
        Organize your community so that local government spending is determined by inclusive neighborhood deliberations on key priorities.
        [...]
        4. Push Local Anchors to do Their Part!
        Make nonprofit institutions like universities and hospitals use their resources to fight poverty, unemployment, and global warming.
        [...]
        5. Reclaim Your Neighborhood With Democratic Development!
        Build community power through economic development and community land trusts.
        [...]
        6. Public Money for the Public Good!
        Organize to use public finances for community development.
        [...]
        7. Stop Letting Your Savings Fuel Corporate Rule!
        Get your workplace to offer more retirement-plan opportunities for responsible investment.
        [...]
        8. Democratize Energy Production to Create a Green Economy!
        Get involved in public and cooperative utilities to fight climate change.
        [...]
        9. Mobilize the Faith Community!
        Get your religious organization to move its money to a local financial institution involved in community development.
        [...]
        10. Make Time for Democracy!
        Fight unemployment by joining the fight against work
        There are several examples supporting each of these points.  Pick one each week and investigate it and do it.

        The Federal government is not the only economic actor.  Actions can and must be taken at the personal, municipal, state, and local levels.  There is nothing whatsoever stopping this push.  The legal capability to act exists at multiple levels.

        Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) programs demonstrate one grassroots method for making progress.  Do it.

        -7.75 -4.67

        "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

        There are no Christians in foxholes.

        by Odysseus on Thu Sep 26, 2013 at 01:51:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  No, they can't. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ohiodem1

      Because their requirements are political, not economic.

      Their political agenda requires them to manufacture crises. That is what they have conditioned their base to expect. Admitting that the economic fundamentals do not create crises would be an admission that they have sold their base a bill of goods.

      There is a long-term trend driving down wages and employment due to offshoring and automation. Admitting that would mean admitting the problem is not lazy brown people freeloading. No boogeymen, no easy answers, no outrage--would not be good politics for the GOP.

      "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

      by HeyMikey on Thu Sep 26, 2013 at 05:12:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  If the GOP Just Got Out of the Way (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson

    If the GOP stepped out of the way and stopped their threats to cause world economic catastrophe, the economy would do just fine. Although the recent claims numbers have been flawed because of computer glitches in California and Nevada, the Labor Department announced that the latest report is now clean. Thus, layoffs really have been dropping in the last few weeks.

    What this means is that the economy has grown fast enough to return to layoff rates we saw before the recession. However, the economy still needs to produce more jobs.

  •  Meteor Blades, Absolute numbers Vs Percentages (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson

    The diary says:

    During the past 40 years, the best 12-month period for initial claims was August 1999-July 2000 when the weekly average was 285,000. For the 12-month period ending September 14, 2013, the weekly average has been 359,000.
    Over a 40 year period the size of the workforce has changed significantly (92.488 million in 1973 to 155.486 million in Aug 2013) - a far more useful comparison would be initial claims as a percentage of the workforce (or working age population)

    The same comments apply when looking at other changes in employment over period when the workforce or population changes by more than just a few percentage points.

    The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

    by nextstep on Thu Sep 26, 2013 at 11:05:10 AM PDT

    •  If I'm not mistaken that is a regular feature.. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HeyMikey

      ..reported on in this Daily Kos Labor series
      BLS - labor force statistics - Data extracted on: September 26, 2013 (3:49:02 PM)

      Series title:        (Seas) Labor Force Participation RateLabor force status:  Civilian labor force participation rateType of data:        Percent or rateAge:                 16 years and over

      ..not sure when the next report is due out though

  •  plateau (0+ / 0-)

    "fallen to a new plateau"

    A plateau is a flat, high place.

  •  For decades, initial unemployment claims were seen (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HeyMikey

    ..as a reasonably good predictor of job growth,

    The drop in total claims is a function of people exhausting their benefits, finding jobs or dropping out of the labor force.
    And though we're getting fewer and fewer lay-offs yet hiring is down too which offsets that number some..
    What's happening is that there are ever-fewer lay-offs but employers aren't hiring as much as would be expected.
    ..it seems we need a way of measuring real hiring numbers independent of unemployment claim numbers.

    Sort of a different type of calculus that is used when long term deep-recession recovery eras become the "norm" - which we have now and for the foreseeable future with austerity and slashing of public sector jobs/investment also as the norm.

    A teabagger rout would help too

    Thx MB

    •  Cyclical vs. long-term. Noise vs. signal. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eric Nelson, Meteor Blades

      Three things are happening.

      1. Ordinary business cycle boom and bust. The ordinary bust seems to be over. But it was especially bad this time because of...

      2. Financial system craziness enabled by deregulation. But that is essentially fixable or at least manageable, by better regulation. Very little sign that will actually happen, but it only requires reasonably smart policymakers. "Only!"

      3. Long-term trend is job loss and dropping wages due to offshoring & automation. I hope MB will forgive me for harping on this on his diaries, and posting this same damn link over and over again, but until our political systems address this the fundamental downward trend will continue: http://www.vanityfair.com/...

      "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

      by HeyMikey on Thu Sep 26, 2013 at 07:00:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Retail jobs (0+ / 0-)

    are cut to the bone with no fat left to cut.  Everywhere I go to shop, the lines are much longer this last year than I can remember in a long time.  Guess grocery lines have been longer in the last few years, but in the last year alone, stores like Target, etc. have had way too long of lines.  I really stop to think about what I need and go without sometimes just to avoid shopping.  When I do go, I stock up on the essentials and feel relieved when I am out of the building.  I have always hated shopping, but now I loath it.

    So that said, I wonder what the up coming holiday shopping season will be like at these places.  My holiday shopping is done, by the way.  Because I loath shopping, but you knew that.

    Anyone think stores will hire per the usual part timers for the holiday or just let the people suffer?

    1. What does it mean? 2. And then what?

    by alwaysquestion on Thu Sep 26, 2013 at 03:25:53 PM PDT

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site