Initial Claims Jump To 397K On Expectations Of 376K, Prior Revised From 368K To 371K

Tyler Durden's picture

And so the economic "improvement" data takes another big step back after the rumored improvement in claims reverts, following the traditional negative prior revision to 371K, coming at 397K on expectations of 376K. Non-seasonal claims surge by 52K higher from 354K to 406K. Continuing claims declined from an upward revised 3791K to 3771K, missing expectations of 3750K. And according to a BLS official this time the factor to blame is "school holidays." It appears there was no snow last week. Disturbingly, those on EUCs and Extended Benefits surged by 200K.

From the report:

The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 406,096 in the week ending March 5, an increase of 52,147 from the previous week. There were 459,523 initial claims in the comparable week in 2010.

The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 3.5 percent during the week ending Feb. 26, unchanged from the prior week. The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 4,442,438, an increase of 97,576 from the preceding week. A year earlier, the rate was 4.3 percent and the volume was 5,538,966.

The total number of people claiming benefits in all programs for the week ending Feb 19 was 8,772,818.

Extended benefits were available in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin, during the week ending Feb 19.

As we have been expecting all along, the economic data has hit an inflection point and is now trending lower, and Goldman will come out with a downward economic revision within a few weeks, setting the stage for QE3.

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HelluvaEngineer's picture

Nah, Bloomberg says as long as we're below 400k we're fine.  Even though the revision will be well above that, the 3k diff is a critical signal to BTFD.

jus_lite_reading's picture

Well, what surprise. I wonder if CNBS will report the revision since last week came in above expectations and they were all over that! The propaganda from MSM is alarming and disturbing.

papaswamp's picture

Weekly NSA improving, but long term continues to degrade. I thought the trade balance report very interesting since China claimed exports decreased and imports increased, yet the US report showed the opposite. Guess we will have to wait for Feb and March to make the call.

High Plains Drifter's picture

WTF!!! We are into recovery now.  Paging Schmailes, paging Schmailes......

Chris Jusset's picture

Oh wait ... Do you mean that this "recovery" has been a mirage?  A smoke screen?  A pack of lies propagated by endless deficit spending and endless money printing?

jus_lite_reading's picture

This is very disturbing and alarming because if they can't tell us the truth then what should we believe? As you said the "recovery" is nothing more than a smoke screen:

the "recovery" that they want you to believe you see (but not feel) is not the sustainable organic growth an economy needs to walk on its own; rather, any magical growth you see is an illusion. It is a byproduct of monetary stimulation to the max -- we're in uncharted waters now.

Simply amazing but true.

Seems many people see through the smoke. Is it time for some more SMOKE?!



Chris Jusset's picture

Now there's no turning back from the govt's lies and fraud. Once the sheeple realize that the Titanic is sinking and that there's no way to save it, then it's game over.  The ruse must continue at any cost -- whether via massive money printing or record-breaking deficit spending or flat-out deception.  So the govt has no choice but to pile on layer upon layer of smoke and mirrors.


It's sad ... but the govt is now in too deep to reverse course.

jmc8888's picture

It's not too late for Glass-Steagall

SpeakerFTD's picture

School holidays!   Wow.  Really?  I mean, really?   Do they have no shame? 

What's next.   Weekend?  Evening?  Lunchtime? 

HelluvaEngineer's picture

My personal favorite is "The sun was in my eyes."  That's a very good one for the Spring season.

Sudden Debt's picture

just waint untill "the belly ake" pandemic hits in full force...


firstdivision's picture

This summer they're going to blame, "the warm sunny weather has caused a higher than normal amount to apply of UE benifits".

HelluvaEngineer's picture

"The rolling blackouts encouraged the unemployed to travel to the air conditioned gov't buildings"

AN0NYM0US's picture

the school holidays excuse should be good for the rest of this month and then Easter kicks in, these random events sure are tough to predict

overmedicatedundersexed's picture

can we believe the BLS? general ZH consensus is a negative answer.

there are 3 types of lies:

big lies , small lies and BLS reports..

can't use this data as it is fantasy wrapped in political agenda, surrounded by intent.

6 String's picture

Bernake is going to show his muscles soon. Everyone knows it: Pimco, Fairfax, Berkshire, and most importantly JP Morgan. Why? Because Congress is kicking the Bernak in the face along with just about EVERYONE else nowadays....

He's gonna stop the QE's at QE II and it's not to test the real markets and economy, he already knows the outcome will be a bad one, but to kick everyone right  back in the nuts.

JP Morgan is upping their silver short position--AGAIN. And, at, north of 35 an ounce! Some are saying this is deperation, wrong. Blythe and her gang are the first ones to KNOW, 100% sure, QE II will end will no subsequent QE's initially.

You see, as Congress is starting to take a whip to the Bernak, grill him on economic history lessons, gets tarred and feathered by the likes of Ron Paul, and hears Warren Buffettt (after that pitiful thank you note in the WSJ) say we didn't need QE II, along with PIMCO trying to get out of dodge....

Well....draw your onw conclusions. Silver will hit 20 an ounce by Sept.

the not so mighty maximiza's picture

to many things in flux, silver at 20 an ounce or 200 an ounce take your pick

6 String's picture

Not in flux, we will see deflation kick in by late July or August for certain, even Oil will come down by September. Things will start to unravel, silver will get nailed and the dollar gets bid and JP Morgan puts the screws on....

I'll bet right now if you started to looke at GS and JPM's books, they're starting to gear their prop desks and shadow HFT's to do a quick 180, short EVERYTHING.

Hubbs's picture

Very astute. With such distortions in the market forces, who in hell can predict anything like the price of Ag+.

overmedicatedundersexed's picture

6 string, play away, interesting perspective.

Ben would like to do as you say, but and it's a big would collapse the FRN and send interest rates much higher..he would then have no control and the SHTF moment is here...

who would be to blame: none other than the would be the end.

6 String's picture

I disagree because everyone's now saying we didn't need QE II, even Buffett. So.....he's gonna fold his hand, let the chips fall where they fall.

You see, some say he is petrified of what's gonna happen when QE II ends. He's not. He knows the shit will hit the fan. That, in his rather rudimentary analysis, will be an AHA! moment to the rest of the world with a "see, imagine had I not done QE II" moment.

In some perverse way, as idiotic as congress and the public and Buffett and et al are, he will not come out looking so bad under this plan.


Bob's picture

Quite possible.  Much the same playbook as the WI scenario.  Maybe the top is nearly in. 

Josh Randall's picture

Interesting take, however if The Bernak doesnt continue to have Timmy run the printing press then the $hattner storm will come in the form of a long hot summer where unemployment runs out, Sandwich Artist jobs wont buy a tank of gas, and the only energy 40% of the American people will have access to will be the buildings that will be burning in every major urban area. I dont think the Honorable Bernak will allow that on his own soil -- only other nations (see exporting inflation and hot money). This can is getting kicked down the road until a new administration takes the orifice office in 2012. PIMCO is cash heavy because someone probably didn't include them in the pow wow where they tip off the insiders and rest of the ponzi syndicate.

6 String's picture

I disagree with this too. Bernak knows we're fucked without debt monetization, that much he knows. He's just gonna get his AHA! moment, then the next round....

Pimco has been frontrunning every QE and Fed action. Gross has tipped his hand in many interviews on his inside information window with brazen entertainment..

Nope. Pimco knows. And they know cash, as bad as an investment it is, will provide the firepower during the next meltdown. Tactical Allocation should look like this:

33% cash, 33% gold, 33% short russell 2000 by the end of April or sooner.

Josh Randall's picture

I like the allocation of your projected portfolio - by rule of Silver to Gold pricing ratio, Silver would automatically go up as soon as Gold jettisoned with such a position though, thats why Silver is such a B!tchin' investment. Seriously though, I do agree the deflationary forces are going to start to ramp up like a BEHMEOUTH here in late Spring and early Summer and cause the price of ordinary items to plummet with the exception of value storers like PM's.

karzai_luver's picture

Would Bernanke really stop when his employment mandate is not accomplished?


Would a president ask him to resign for the good of the country?

Would a Pug prez keep him on if the economy tanks hard as a result of no Qe ponzi?


Does Bernanke want to take that chance -- to be shown the door in disgrace after seeing that his life long beliefs FAILED.


Does a sitting prez wish a full out collapse heading into an election?


Would the "prudent" course be to continue support until after the elections as we wouldn't want to be accused of playing politics right at the doorstep of the elections?



fuu's picture

yeah we saw this article posted earlier in the week. Most of us decided that silver at $20 would be the perfect DTFB.

faustian bargain's picture

Show his muscles? He's been showing his 'muscles' ever since he started this gig. His central premise is that he needs to inundate the economy with fiat money, to create a recovery. It hasn't worked, and it's not because he hasn't been given lots of leeway.

If he gives up on quantitative easing, that will be the end of his muscles...his credibility (such as it is, already) will be zero, as he will have forsaken his entire raison-d'etre.

I'm not denying that deflation is the irresistable force he's trying to fight with QE, but this coyote is so far past the cliff edge that any deflation is going to be short-lived before causing outright currency collapse. And at that point, you won't be getting silver for ANY amount of paper fiat money.

HoofHearted's picture

Why doesn't the BLS just start every report with, "But honey I really love you." It would at least sweeten us up for the lies that are about to come...

Seriously, school holidays made me apply for benefits. Since the kids were home with me instead of getting government, education, I decided to take them up to the unemployment office with me. I figured their third grade education could help me in filing the forms.

monopoly's picture

Sell my gold and silver. I think not.

HoofHearted's picture

But the price is falling...sell it to me. Never mind that a lot of the selling is probably due to people needing to hit margin requirements on all those purchases of NFLX and AAPL.

bigking12345's picture

all the rats jumping off the govt motors, but with all the govt cheese in their pockets .

dcb's picture

not enough QE (LOL)

dick cheneys ghost's picture

Uncle sam selling assets to pay bills?..............

max2205's picture

Two steps forward, one step back?....

oh_bama's picture

You guys know it is all due to the weather, don't you?


So don't be too negative and BTFD!!

fuu's picture

Umm don't we use Seasonal Adjustments to smooth for things like holidays, short months, and weather?

-Michelle-'s picture

School holidays?  What are they talking about, Presidents Day?  We homeschool, so maybe I'm just unaware of some massive pre-Spring Break in February.

TruthInSunshine's picture

Saw this posted on - HERE - yesterday (but I forgot by whom):

But if you look deeper into the numbers, as John Williams does at, you don’t see the turnaround picture.  In fact, just the opposite is going on.  In his latest report, Williams estimates the government is routinely overstating job growth by “230,000 jobs” a month.  Using simple math, 192,000 created jobs (according to BLS) subtracted from 230,000 overstated jobs gives you an actual net loss of 38,000 jobs.  I called Williams to check my analysis, and he told me it is not that simple because the government’s estimations are “the worst in modern economic history.” Williams says unemployment numbers are “openly misleading” and virtually “worthless.”

In an interview yesterday from his San Francisco office, Williams told me when it comes to calculating unemployment numbers, the BLS is “flying blind.” He admitted, “It is hard to put an exact number on the actual job losses last month, but we likely lost jobs—not gained them.” He added, “The job losses could be as high as 30,000 for last month.”

This recession is the deepest and longest in modern history and the worst economy since the Great Depression.  Williams told me the reason job figures are so far off is modern BLS calculations have never been tested in this kind of severe downturn.  One reason the unemployment numbers are so misleading is the Birth-Death Model—meaning the birth and death of companies, not people.  In simple terms, the Birth Death Model overestimates jobs that are created by startup companies and often does not subtract jobs when companies go out of business.  So, what the government is giving us are giant distortions in employment and unemployment.  According to Williams, unemployment is not trending down, but the economy sure is.

According to, unemployment is 22.1% if calculated the way BLS did it before 1994.  True unemployment and under-employment has been stuck above 22% for months. contends that before this so-called Great Recession is over, it will go as high as 35%.  By then, we won’t be calling this the Great Recession but the Greatest Depression.


Unemployment Rate: Flying Blind: March 9, 2011.
Triple A's picture

happy days are here again. yayyyyy