After the double dip in new home sales and NAHB confidence, we are starting to see the beginning of the end of the improvement in firings: initial claims in the week ended January 16 came in at 482,000, higher than the estimate which expected a number of 440,000, which was supposed to be an improvement from the prior week's 446,000. The good news was that the spread between seasonally adjusted and non-seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate tightened by 20 bps from 110 bps to 90 bps (3.5% SA vs 4.4% NSA).
But by far the worst news was EUC, or Emergency Unemployment Compensation, which as even Mr. Liesman acknowledges now is important, which shot up by a stunning 652,364 to 5,654,544. The end-beginning of the year transition sure caught the DOL offguard.
The combination of initial, continuing claims and EUC for the most recent period is a record 10,701,794 Seasonally Adjusted or a whopping 12,021,880 Non-Seasonally Adjusted. The double dip is here, and unfortunately for Obama, he is all out of stimulus bullets.