Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Initial unemployment claims are going the wrong way

Initial unemployment claims are starting to creep back upwards on an absolute and year over year basis.  The standard seasonally adjusted 4 week moving average of initial claims (that's a mouthful!) has recently bounced back up to 440k from 400k.

While this does not look so bad if one looks at the data on an absolute level, one can see the trend clearly deteriorating on a year over basis [2nd chart]

Now this is only a few weeks but the trend is not going in the 'right' direction.  My previous post on initial claims data  provided two different theoretical outcomes merely by torturing the data via different means.

Some have posited the rise in initial clams is due to automotive factories laying off people because of supply chain problems stemming from the earthquake in Japan a few months back.  Another possibility is the increase in oil prices is finally starting to really bite into the consumers pocketbook and layoffs are ensuing in consumer sensitive sectors of the economy.  Regardless we will know soon if this is a short term blip in unemployment claims or a longer term trend.


  1. i do not see how QEX is not in the cards.....like your comment in last post about gas n elections.

    employment n gas are the most important election topics, huh greg?

    i see obama threw a bone to his base w/isreali border '67 line.....effectivly takes any discussion there off table for LONG time.

    i know roosevelt saved the jewish people from hitler(their prospective).....but in these times i don't get their democratic support...alot of my friends are jewish, i feel they vote dem cause their parents did.

    all the dems iknow support the palestinians.

  2. Yeah, gas and employment are strong factors in any election. Unfortunately politicians prefer to hit the 'easy' button rather than work on long term solutions which are more robust and better than short term fixes. It's easy to give out money, whether it be tax breaks or more spending.

    Unfortunately we are now paying the piper for 80 years of political handouts.

    Fortunately there are ways to make money with this macro situation but it is going to be tough sledding in America for a while.