Oh the media. Every outlet has been totally abuzz about the drop in initial jobless claims reported by the Department of Labor today. It was only a reduction of 3,000 people, but that’s not where they failed to do their homework- the 450,000 number .. is THE SAME as it was back in March and before. That means that things are not improving. In fact, when compared to March numbers .. things are actually worse.
To prove the point, I pulled every report from the Department of Labor website since March. Since today’s news was about seasonally adjusted numbers, I used the same screwy set of numbers to create this graph.
In March initial claims were at 442,000 – yeah, 8,000 less than today’s report. What’s even more surprising is that we actually reached the lowest number in July at 427,000. Two months later and people are still filing initial claims at a rate of 450,000 a week.
Think about it, that’s NEW claims only and is around 2 million people every month that need help from the government .. that have not needed it before (initial claims).
Honestly, we are in a range of roughly 425,000 to 480,000 claims weekly and today’s report shows that it isn’t improving at all. Stimulus spending has done absolutely nothing and the situation may actually be deteriorating. If we don’t see seasonally adjusted, weekly claims drop below 400,000 soon .. another spike like the August nightmare of over 500,000 claims could be soon to follow.
Are companies still laying off? Yes, today Fedex announced a 1700 person layoff due to a dismal forecast. If one of the largest shippers is forecasting doom .. businesses must not be thinking about moving more inventory and filling more orders.
The government and the media are not showing you this. The government needs you to spend and I have no idea why the media didn’t bother to research this.
Today’s numbers are no improvement and the next month or so will be telling. Keep this chart bookmarked and revisit every time they tell you that things are looking up. Of course, upward is relative and we are in quite a hole.