Same Unemployment Insurance Misreporting, Different Day: Initial Claims Down 22,000 As EUCs Surge Almost Two Hundred Thousand

Tyler Durden's picture

The fabulous news of the day undoubtedly will be the latest release from the Dept of Labor: Initial Claims for the week ended December 26 came in at 432,000, a 22,000 decline from the prior week, and below consensus. The number was sufficient to prompt Bloomberg's Courtney Schlisserman to come up with the following observation, "Fewer Americans than anticipated
filed claims for unemployment benefits last week, pointing to an
improvement in the labor market that will help sustain economic
growth next year
." Perhaps Courtney and Steve Liesman should sit down in a corner and finally figure out what this whole EUC (Emergency Unemployment Compensation) business is - trust us, it is not that difficult. And for the week ended Dec. 12 it surged by 191,669 to almost 4.5 million, another all time record. Three weeks ago we were shocked when this number hit the all time high of 4.2 million: in a mere 21 days it has added a whopping 7% to the total. Unfortunately, at this point we have gotten a little desensitized to new EUC records. We ask Ms. Schlisserman what happens to the "sustainable economic growth" when there are 0 Initial Claims (hurray!!) and a million EUC claims weekly (d'oh)? Again, a simple question. Luckily for Bloomberg, the DOL and the BLS there is no consensus number for EUC, as the downside surprises there would have been staggering, if anyone actually cared to report those on the front pages of the even impartial mainstream media.

To be honest, Courtney does point out that Conference Board numbers we discussed yesterday, which demonstrated that Americans have now written off any possibilities for a raise until the 30th century.

Americans are concerned about their financial
future. Fewer consumers in December believed their incomes will
increase over the next three to six months, the Conference
Board’s confidence report this week showed.

And with wage deflation still pervasive, John Williams' hyperinflation thesis may just have to be put on the backburner for a few [months/years/decades].

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Anonymous's picture

By now, even a 3rd grader would look at any "news" coming out of CNBC and laugh. The MSM is corporate owned, and their ONLY mission is to distract the masses from the real numbers and obfuscate the truth.

Always trying to create false optimism, because their very jobs completely depend on it.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

"By now, even a 3rd grader would look at any "news" coming out of CNBC and laugh."

While I agree with your basic premise that few believe the "official" reports, please don't underestimate the accumulative effect the constant barrage of propaganda has on peoples view of what's going on.

When you're trying to change the direction of the herd and you have some time, all it takes are small incremental movements to gradually add up to big changes in direction. Think daily compounding of interest as an example.

People clearly don't believe things are getting better. But they just as clearly are not hunkering down in a cave. People are not acting like they claim they believe. Why? Because the constant barrage of propaganda does have a slow but continuous effect on perception.

And in a leveraged fiat currency world, perception is reality.

covertress's picture

In any world, perception is reality.

Have a quantum New Year! (whatever you want it to be)

Anonymous's picture

You can live in a world with perception being your reality only if you have money.

If you have no money, your perception and your reality are equal.

A_MacLaren's picture

Perhaps you intended to be sarcastic and left the [/s_off] of your post.

Perception is not reality.  Reality is reality.

Spin begets perception and delusion.  Truth begets reality and rationality.


This country, nay, the world, better start getting a grip on Reality.

Or reality is gonna bitch slap the deluded upside their collective perception.

Anonymous's picture

Denial, fed (;)) by patriotism is US's reality

Ripped Chunk's picture

Indeed. According to a thread that is part of that constant barrage of good news: "the constant barrage of good news has save Christmas for retailers."

Sadly, no one told all the retailers I know and have talked to over the past week that news. They missed out on it.


trav777's picture

Agree...I've heard about the improving job market for months and sure as shit haven't seen it.  People like my mom say "I thought I heard that things were getting better."  Nobody who's actually working thinks that. 

My Dad, OTOH, who is a little more perceptive, is worried as shit.  I hammered on what was coming for years before it did then it showed up and his eyes opened.  He even has given up on the Democrap party he voted for his whole life, finally sees that they are all fucking crooks.  He's on a state pension and he can read or hear from me that the state is insolvent and he's rightfully fearful.

Let them all fail's picture

And who will he vote for then, Green Party? Libertarian? Me?

trav777's picture


Right now it makes no difference if you vote Republicrat.

The GOP is currently massing not to change anything but to retake power.

Anonymous's picture

I just hate how when they are just starting to fix things up, they just add new projects to their plate.


Cindy_Dies_In_The_End's picture

CD-- My father used to own a turkey farm of over 50,000 turkeys. Dumb as shit with a herd mentality. Reality was easy to shape for them.. as long as the upkeep was there. (Shelter, contant supply of food, water).


However, it takes very little time to NOT feed turkeys before they get really pissed. Walk into their pen and you will be rushed by 50,000 turkeys.


thats a lot of paniked, desperate Butterball cold cuts, my friend.


That's going to be the reality-- great employment numbers, but hungry, angry people out of benefits.

johnny9iron's picture

"And they'll tell you black is really white
The moon is just the sun at night
And when you walk in golden halls
You get to keep the gold that falls
Its heaven and hell, oh no!
Fool, fool!"--Black Sabbath

CD is correct and as Mr. Dio so articulately penned decades ago, many will frame it for you unless of course you read this site which is excellent bullshit repellent. (although some contributors are bullshit accelerants.) 

Happy New Year and remember, the trap is your friend. Life is too short to play from the rough.

narlah's picture

I often use this : "Personal oppinion are a good thing ... until you have to sync them with reality!"

Anonymous's picture

"please don't underestimate the accumulative effect the constant barrage of propaganda has on peoples view of what's going on."

Also don't forget to extend your analysis to other venues like Iran and the wars and relations with the Chinese. The mis-information is relatively well coordinated and very effective. The only reason it works so poorly with jobs is people run into contra-indicators in their daily lives. Concerning the wars and prospective wars and what not we do not have the same level of experience so the propaganda is even more effective.

ghostfaceinvestah's picture

"“To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed...”"

George Orwell, 1984.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture


For the past 10 years, each and every year around this time I pull out my copy of 1984 and read it again. It's not that I have a poor memory but rather there is no substitute for the in-your-face prose of George Orwell to bring you back to reality. I learn and re-learn every time I read him. 

I consider 1984 to be the "Tyranny and Mind Control for Dummies" handbook every one should read every year. Then again, few have the intestinal fortitude to come face to face with the ugly realization we are living in a "1984" world here and now. 

Besides, "24" is back for another season next month. So shut the hell up and bring me the chips, dip and beer. Now where is that remote control?

Sad. So sad. 

trav777's picture

You should also read Brave New World, a true Magnum Opus.

I ask myself, how the fk did Huxley KNOW?

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

I know, I have that well worn copy as well.

I made the same comment some time ago (that I re-read certain books all the time) and I received a sarcastic and vile response that I must be a really stupid moron if I couldn't remember what I had read. Of course, it was from an anon.

Some people just don't get it and never will. They're mouth breathers and aren't worth wasting my time on. In particular, they would never understand why anyone would read a book a second, third or more time(s) simply for the joy of it.

Reading by it's own definition engages the mind. Watching TV subverts and destroys the mind unless you are careful to be critical of what you watch. Most people simply don't have the capacity to do so and thus are captured and controlled by the idiot box. I always tell people not to shut off the TV so much as to watch it with a critical eye. To passively allow the TV into your mind is insanity, which explains a lot about our world, doesn't it.

tomdub_1024's picture

I have always though 1984 was the Brit version, and Brave New World the US version (big brother watching=cctv cams everywhere, soma/pleasure=shiny new things, prescriptions, etc...perhaps?)

I too re-read the above, and every couple years Atlas Shrugged...just to keep attention focussed and reality view awake...:)

WaterWings's picture

I get stuck somewhere without a book and the Teevee is on and I get zoned. I just sit there and realize that most of the content is mattress liquidation commercials. And then the news comes on. I don't even know these people, but I hear people talk about them. The news is car accident somewhere, a three-legged dog returns home after three months, and weather 'that just might ruin your plans for the weekend. At 11.' 

Sometimes I wish I was that dog.


delacroix's picture

I only keep books, I plan on reading again, everything else, I give away


DaveyJones's picture

I think about Orwell all the time as well. Brilliant novels. Brilliant Man. Also like the 1984 film with Hurt made in the same year.

ghostfaceinvestah's picture

Agreed, I posted that quote because last night I was going through the bookcase and saw my old copy of 1984 on the shelf, and pulled it out to re-read in the New Year.

For anyone who read it back in high school or college, get a copy and re-read it today, you will understand it better.

Orwell was a socialist through and through, but an anti-totalitarian socialist.  And totalitarianism is the threat we face today.

WaterWings's picture

His description of Newspeak is fascinating. What a brain. And his vision of a sustainable form of totalitarian government that would last forever was also fascinating. All kingdoms and governments fail, but this one was too real to contemplate. We don't seem that far off from it. Perpetual war to keep populations under control. I recently watched Children of Men again for the 5th or 6th time (wow, that many?) but this time on Blu-Ray. I just sat there in awe of how a society can hang on with their fingernails like that. Imagine terror bombings in the US on a regular basis. 'Rocket bombs' in 1984. Constant fear of death by explosion. 

If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever.
George Orwell

I would mention that Orwell didn't realize the impact of the Middle East in his warz, but then again, Orwell's template for complete and unbreakable tyranny supercedes the details.

Anonymous's picture

As another rather brilliant poster once quipped, "Deflation is the midwife of hyperinflation."

Anonymous's picture

Zimbabwe had north of 60% unemployment when their hyperinflation began.

Ripped Chunk's picture

You forgot the "just sayin'" 

The Rock's picture

what happens to the "sustainable economic growth" when there are 0 Initial Claims (hurray!!) and a million EUC claims weekly (d'oh)?

Enquiring minds would like to know...


I almost spit my coffee when I saw the CNN headline "Jobless claims fall to 17-month low".



Brian Griffin's picture

That "sustainable economic growth" will endure what is known to you as The People's Elbow. 

Anonymous's picture

ZH is the site to read the real analysis on economic number details that is missing in CNBC and BB.

Cindy_Dies_In_The_End's picture

"missing"? Try intentionally and wilfully withheld.



Cursive's picture

And with wage deflation still pervasive, John Williams' hyperinflation thesis may just have to be put on the backburner for a few [months/years/decades].

This.  With the current overhang of debt, we'll have deflation for the next two decades and more unless we default.

Ned Zeppelin's picture

And I say unchecked monetization of sovereign debt is the midwife of hyperinflation.

Cursive's picture


All the money that is going to be "printed" has been "printed", which is another way to say that central banks and their affiliate banks have used fractional reserve lending and ultra loose lending standards to create artificial demand.  If any of the money supply measures included credit, it would show a steady contraction in the money supply.  Regardless of the FRB's quantitative easing, we have as much "money", via credit, as we are going to have for a long time.

Anonymous's picture

I see what you did there.

WaterWings's picture

Anger inflation can happen overnight, within minutes. Just ask any Lakers fan. 'Fuck da police! Les buss some shiddup!'

I wonder when your average American will turn off the TV, put down the jerky and cola and experience the catharsis of inflation anger. Probably never. Preparing for the worst is polishing your resume.

Cindy_Dies_In_The_End's picture

WW-- Nah for Boobus Americanus preparing for the worst is TYPING IN CAPS!!!! GRR! don't make me Facebook on your ass!! see? much better. ;)

wesa's picture

The news reporting is beyond hope.

Anonymous's picture

I'm sure this was nothing more than small business owners restraining themselves from being the grinch over the holiday week and laying off workers. "Hey, Merry Christmas... by the way, we're giving you a temporary dismissal due to lack of work. Have a great New Year!"

This again represents how economists fail to recognize the limits of their models by not accounting for human behavior.

Now, watch human behavior ramp up the jobless numbers after the holidays.

Ned Zeppelin's picture

Agreed.  Layoffs are held off from around Thanksgiving until after January 1 in my world.

Ripped Chunk's picture

Or like Arrow Trucking, they try hard to make it to the end of the year without letting everyone go but the cash ran out.

vanderrook's picture

Thank you.

Human behavior- the great unknown variable. Throws a monkey wrench into the fucking machine every time...

Ned Zeppelin's picture

"Fewer Americans than anticipated filed claims for unemployment benefits last week, pointing to an improvement in the labor market that will help sustain economic growth next year."

He thought up a lie, and he thought it up quick. Looks like the Grinch's regular day job is as a CNBC script writer. Who thinks this stuff up?

Let's look at this statement: if it passes by quickly, a key assumption of all accomplished MSM propagandists, the key points you heard are "fewer filed" and "improvement in the labor market" and "sustain economic growth." The only fact was "fewer filed" but you have no raw numbers or other basis of comparison you could use to reach a sensible conclusion about what the data means.  But no worries, your conclusions are provided for you. Always helpful. Saves me from all that dreadful thinking for myself I'd otherwise be stuck doing. 

Anonymous's picture

It always hurts my head when I think.

So instead, I grab a bag of cheese doodles and turn on American Idol, and I am happy again!

Oso's picture

i just asked bloomberg help to include EUC in their weekly claims reporting because it is painting a skewed and highly biased picture of the world.  Not sure the help person was expecting that.... lol

Anonymous's picture

No income growth, no net credit expansion, no inflation.

How hard is it to figure out that reality?

trav777's picture

Sovereign deficits growing...that money gets spent.
Weimar went its way because everyone was a State employee

Kreditanstalt's picture

"It's boding well for outright job growth," said Steven Gallagher...

Pity he doesn't know that 'boding' indicates possible future action at best, not something imminent...likely the only job growth will be in the legions necessary to administer EUC claims.

By the way, I'm getting sick of hearing how financials, AIG, and GM have been "bailed out".  True, but THIS - "Emergency Unemployment Compensation" - is the REAL bailout...the unnecessary and unproductive among the labour force are being supported on air and zombified with taxpayer money, yet not a word about it...