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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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Thu, 12/31/2009 - 10:53 | 178777 Anonymous
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.

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 11:43 | 178848 Cognitive Dissonance
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.

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 11:52 | 178867 covertress
covertress's picture

In any world, perception is reality.

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

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 12:24 | 178936 Anonymous
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.

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 13:10 | 179020 A_MacLaren
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.

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 14:25 | 179134 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

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

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 12:26 | 178940 Ripped Chunk
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.


Thu, 12/31/2009 - 12:30 | 178949 trav777
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.

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 12:55 | 178994 Let them all fail
Let them all fail's picture

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

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 13:10 | 179019 trav777
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.

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 15:37 | 179244 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

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


Thu, 12/31/2009 - 14:18 | 179118 Cindy_Dies_In_T...
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.

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 18:23 | 179433 johnny9iron
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.

Sat, 01/02/2010 - 10:18 | 180481 narlah
narlah's picture

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

Sun, 01/03/2010 - 15:51 | 181329 Anonymous
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.

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 13:23 | 179042 ghostfaceinvestah
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.

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 14:22 | 179126 Cognitive Dissonance
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. 

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 14:32 | 179150 trav777
trav777's picture

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

I ask myself, how the fk did Huxley KNOW?

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 15:32 | 179184 Cognitive Dissonance
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.

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 16:15 | 179289 tomdub_1024
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...:)

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 20:56 | 179542 WaterWings
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.


Fri, 01/01/2010 - 01:05 | 179689 delacroix
delacroix's picture

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


Fri, 01/01/2010 - 03:01 | 179719 DaveyJones
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.

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 14:47 | 179181 ghostfaceinvestah
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.

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 21:08 | 179547 WaterWings
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.

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 10:57 | 178781 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

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

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 11:01 | 178785 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

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

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 12:27 | 178942 Ripped Chunk
Ripped Chunk's picture

You forgot the "just sayin'" 

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 11:07 | 178786 The Rock
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".



Thu, 12/31/2009 - 11:09 | 178792 Brian Griffin
Brian Griffin's picture

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

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 11:37 | 178841 The Rock
The Rock's picture


Thu, 12/31/2009 - 11:06 | 178789 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

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

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 14:20 | 179121 Cindy_Dies_In_T...
Cindy_Dies_In_The_End's picture

"missing"? Try intentionally and wilfully withheld.



Thu, 12/31/2009 - 11:09 | 178793 Cursive
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.

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 11:18 | 178804 Ned Zeppelin
Ned Zeppelin's picture

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

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 11:36 | 178839 Cursive
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.

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 11:51 | 178864 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

I see what you did there.

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 12:03 | 178887 WaterWings
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.

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 14:21 | 179125 Cindy_Dies_In_T...
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. ;)

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 11:10 | 178795 wesa
wesa's picture

The news reporting is beyond hope.

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 11:12 | 178797 Anonymous
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.

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 11:16 | 178801 Ned Zeppelin
Ned Zeppelin's picture

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

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 12:29 | 178948 Ripped Chunk
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.

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 11:26 | 178817 vanderrook
vanderrook's picture

Thank you.

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

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 11:14 | 178799 Ned Zeppelin
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. 

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 11:42 | 178850 Anonymous
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!

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 11:16 | 178802 Oso
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

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 11:19 | 178805 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

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

How hard is it to figure out that reality?

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 12:32 | 178955 trav777
trav777's picture

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

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 11:20 | 178807 Kreditanstalt
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...

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 11:23 | 178812 Ned Zeppelin
Ned Zeppelin's picture

Good point. The "unnecessary and unproductive among the labour force" are hereby ordered to report to the Soylent Green manufacturing outlet nearest their residence before 1700 hours.  

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 11:28 | 178820 vanderrook
vanderrook's picture


I'm not buying anything from the supermarket from now on...

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 11:31 | 178826 Orly
Orly's picture

"Oh, my God!  It's ex-employees!"

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 12:05 | 178893 WaterWings
WaterWings's picture

"Wait. Look. They see us. And they're running at us!

...whaddya mean you didn't bring your pistol!"

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 11:27 | 178818 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

The amount paid to consumers via UI and EUC is VASTLY dwarfed by the handouts to industry. In the last UI extension legislation, 2 billion were given to the unemployed while a 10 billion handout via tax credits was given to the housing industry. Get some perspective.

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 11:54 | 178869 BS Inc.
BS Inc.'s picture

Agreed, although I would like to see unemployment insurance "privatized", with something like a 401(k) structure.

Fri, 01/01/2010 - 01:14 | 179695 delacroix
delacroix's picture

citi, just got a 38 billion, tax break.

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 11:35 | 178837 berlinjames02
berlinjames02's picture

Kredit Anstalt! (I love the name.)

I thought we got rid of you in 1931? What the hell are you doing here? Are you bringing a second round of pain in the European banking sector?

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 12:07 | 178897 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

I hope you never have to regret those harsh words.

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 12:27 | 178941 Master Bates
Master Bates's picture

I've been looking for a job for two months and haven't had any luck, despite many interviews.
Does that mean that I'm being unproductive by choice?  You can believe that I'd be working if I could!

I'm just a twenty something trying to pay my way through college...

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 12:45 | 178974 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Way too many people are in college, most getting useless degrees.

Hopefully, you'll realize what a scam it is, drop out, and start a business.

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 14:25 | 179135 Cindy_Dies_In_T...
Cindy_Dies_In_The_End's picture

Thats 2 of your problems right there.


BTW--there are ALWAYS telemarketing jobs out there.

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 11:22 | 178810 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

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

I'm as distrustful of the numbers as the next guy, but this is true every single year, and is no problem even for BLS statisticians to adjust for it.

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 11:58 | 178875 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

I beg to differ. John Williams of has consistently shown that the BLS can't properly "seasonally" adjust this time around because this recession/depression is so far outside the "normal" that the BLS models can't cope.

This is one of the reason the BLS has already announced they will back out an additional million+ jobs their models created that failed to materialize in the real world. Of course, this announcement got very little press and since it will be retroactive, when it happens the press will call it "old news" and already figured in.

This BTW is how the big lie becomes assimilated and accepted. 

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 12:42 | 178972 deadhead
deadhead's picture


I was thinking about that upcoming adjustment this morning and it likely won't even catch any ink.

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 13:01 | 179004 slovester
slovester's picture

I think it will be reported, but it's just about a sure thing that "Better Than Expected" will be the headline.  The true numbers will be buried beyond the third paragraph of the story so that the typical reader's eyes have already glazed over by that point, if it is even read at all.

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 11:23 | 178813 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Aso how was this unexpected? Did no one see Christmas coming?

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 11:24 | 178815 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

The initial claims can be looked at as a sign of improvement while the EUCs can simultaneously be seen as a sign of lack of improvement. It simply states that companies aren't firing but they also aren't hiring. This isn't new information and I'm not sure why another "THEY ARE LIEING TO US" post was made about this. It IS a good sign that the initial claims are down. If this number starts to really tick up again, then there is concern as it could be pointing to a second dip. The extended EUCs just reconfirms this depression is longer than we thought possible and until the bad debt is removed, uncertainty with goverment policy is removed, and trust is restored there isn't going to be any meaningful hiring.

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 13:40 | 179068 Tethys
Tethys's picture

I note that in your post you describe both the 'good' aspect of lower initial claims as well as the 'bad' aspect of extended EUCs.  In contrast, the mainstream media reporting on this will only reference the 'good' lower claims, without mentioning the EUCs (see referenced Bloomberg article, or just turn on a TV or radio - NPR just did a whole segment, including interview, describing how great this was).

Hence, they ARE lying to us in a sense - there is a reason it is "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth" and not just "the truth and nothing but the truth".  The art of propaganda is to lie without really lying.

Why are they lying? I would lay good odds that if republicans were in power, NPR would have focused on EUC and not initial claims (disclosure: registered independent here).  I agree with the non-political approach of ZH, but I also believe that addressing the 'why' in 'why is the media lying' is important.

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 14:29 | 179143 Cindy_Dies_In_T...
Cindy_Dies_In_The_End's picture

Um , how many people can one lay off or fire until the numbers begin to decrease simply b/c laying off or firing would be counterproductive to one's business? Its like killing one person at a time, then not killing anyone else because you've run out of people. woopee! claims are down!!

anyway, you get my point.

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 11:29 | 178822 JohnKing
JohnKing's picture

It's not that complicated, unemployment offices were not open for the full week. Sometimes ZH can over-think things. Same thing happened on Thanksgiving week.

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 11:30 | 178824 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

courtney, you ignorant slut. is the silicone leaking?

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 11:33 | 178828 AmenRa
AmenRa's picture



Hmmm hmmm good. Tastes like chicken.

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 11:33 | 178830 Jeff Lebowski
Jeff Lebowski's picture

Could you please help save Rick Santelli's sanity by forwarding this directly to Steve Liesman?

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 11:40 | 178845 Cursive
Cursive's picture


Maybe Santelli is a Tyler  ;-D

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 12:07 | 178898 WaterWings
WaterWings's picture

Toro! Toro! Olaaaaaay!

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 11:48 | 178856 etrader
etrader's picture

Rick & Steve are both valued lurkers/posters :-)

Along with Ms Drury & MCC(s).

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 12:02 | 178884 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Yes, etrader, and because Steve is a mouth breather I can almost hear him when he is lurking.


Thu, 12/31/2009 - 11:34 | 178833 JACOB5CD
JACOB5CD's picture


Thu, 12/31/2009 - 11:35 | 178835 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

The Extended benefits row is quite telling as well.

Dec 12 367,498, prior year 1 1,671.

YoY change? About 21,500%.

Oh, and to get BACK to where the US was 1 month ago, it would STILL have to find those 557,155 (non seasonally adjusted) jobs, not to mention the other jobs lost that were subsequently added to the previous week's figures.

Still the second derivative is improving do things must be fine (the rate of change of the rate of change is getting better...).

What planet are these people on?


Thu, 12/31/2009 - 12:30 | 178951 geopol
geopol's picture

January and July are smoothing months... Birth/ Death


All is good..

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 11:35 | 178836 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Legitimate question: How can this EUC number grow if new claims are coming down. The EUC program started recently and is temporary:

What is the mechanism for its growth with new claims decreasing? New claims are still north of 400K per week, and that's 1.6 million per month -- but should not that be the max growth number? If not, why not?

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 11:58 | 178877 BS Inc.
BS Inc.'s picture

Because the EUC "pool" is people who made their initial claims back when initial claims were much higher, 6 months agao. If the total number of people now exhausting their regular UI benefits is 600K, even if new claims are 400K, EUC claims will go up by 600K.

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 12:21 | 178927 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Because the EUC "pool" is people who made their initial claims back when initial claims were much higher, 6 months agao. If the total number of people now exhausting their regular UI benefits is 600K, even if new claims are 400K, EUC claims will go up by 600K.

Well, good answer. But so what? That means new claims decreasing will eventually appear in this number collecting from the extended program, which then also will eventually decline.

The more significant reality is the graph on the Bloomberg page announcing the new claims number. It is clearly steeply declining. This doesn't have to mean an improvement in employment. If the economy were stagnant, there's be a decline in new claims, too. There is a floor, after all, to the number that can be fired. The key is gob creation. If that's not there, this new claims decline will not mean much.

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 15:37 | 179245 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Well, good answer. But so what? That means new claims decreasing will eventually appear in this number collecting from the extended program, which then also will eventually decline.

Just because initial claims declines, doesnt mean the EUC automatically declines. If people arent being hired then initial claims dropping doesnt really mean a whole lot. Of course initial claims will decrease, there are only so many jobs that can be cut.

Starting next year people that were first put on EUC will start exhausting their benefits (unless they are extended again). Then all will be rosey because they dont have to be included in the EUC number, and it will (((show signs of improving))).

Course, tell that to the people that are still unemployed.

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 11:41 | 178847 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

The WSJ talks about EUC this monring. Check C1

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 14:37 | 179161 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

The WSJ is the keeper of the myth for the galactic empire. They are a "mob" newspaper and regardless of what they print (or even what page it's printed on) it's the industry journal and not read by the average Joe.

The real crime is this. Why is the truth not blaring from page one of the local "Small Town USA Journal" newspaper? I can understand the big papers being co-opted but the small town rags as well?

Well, yes, in reality many of the small town newspapers were swooped up by divisions of the mainstream media over the last decade and are now local repeaters of the big news outlets. Notice I used the word "repeaters" since most reporters now simply take the latest corporate or governmental news release and, after some "personalization" (my high school writing teacher told me to make the story "mine") repeat what they're told.

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 15:58 | 179268 vanderrook
vanderrook's picture

It's a sad state of affairs. Even if you made the "Red Pills" available for free to the average Joe, you can't very well cram it down his throat.

The Red Pill must be taken and swallowed voluntarily.

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 11:41 | 178849 Kreditanstalt
Kreditanstalt's picture

Ned Zeppelin...

TARP: Taxpayers forced to support unproductive moneylosing overleveraged zombie banks and companies...


EUC: Taxpayers forced to support unproductive, moneylosing, probably overindebted redundant former employees...

What's the dif?  Both are bailouts with other peoples' money... 



Thu, 12/31/2009 - 11:59 | 178879 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

unproductive, moneylosing, overindebted redundant former employees...if you're talking about former banking MBAs, and home construction workers, then yeah, I guess you have a point.

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 12:05 | 178890 BS Inc.
BS Inc.'s picture

Difference is that, while you don't see it, your employer contributes to a UI fund on your behalf while you are employed. So, theoretically, you're getting back your own money when you go on UI. For example, if, as I'd like, we turned UI into something "private", I could negotiate a small raise from my employer because they would no longer be paying into a UI fund. I could then save that money for when I became unemployed.


TARP was just a straight-up giveaway.

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 12:25 | 178938 Ned Zeppelin
Ned Zeppelin's picture

+1 for handling the reply. The original comment, blaming the unemployed as "unproductive and unnecessary," sounds much like Scrooge in a Dickens-Cheneyesque world.  There is a qualitative difference of immense proportions between rescuing criminal bankers by coup d'etat and providing a safety net for the unemployed through a time-tested and funded unemployment insurance program.  I suppose the vast numbers of unemployed should not eat or live in houses either, as undeserving as they are.  Scum.

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 12:37 | 178965 trav777
trav777's picture


You see this sentiment routinely on "trader" sites, including TF, where everyone is apparently a completely nonproductive fucking speculative gambler and would-be slumlord.

What our system is now is akin to a game where one side owns the referees and actively cheats.  And then they call YOU a loser for coming out behind on the scoreboard.

The elite owns the Congress, the Presidency, and probably most of the courts.  They sure as hell control access to the courts.  They have captured the material regulatory agencies, they control the currency, the armed forces, and the land.

So bleating at the "middle class" or poor for wanting more when the elite class is basically cheating is disgusting.  But that's the standard response to objections over how many points the rich score on the field caused by their ownership of the refs and the scorekeeper and everything else.  "Oh, just work harder you lazy scrub loser." 

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 13:16 | 179028 BS Inc.
BS Inc.'s picture

Once I found out how UI was actually funded, it struck me that the idea that it's a giveaway is just wrong. As I said, I'd prefer something like a "unemployment savings account", so that if people never become unemployed, they have another savings source to draw on in retirement or perhaps some other well-defined situations, like a medical emergency. I'm not big on the concept of "social insurance", but if the government is going to force people to pay in, like with Medicare and Social Security, it's not really an option to just leave those benefits on the table.

On TARP and the other financial services bailouts, I'm about as pissed as can be. I'm nominally one of the "elites" by the look of my resume, yet my industry (and, more close to home, me) didn't get jack from all these bailouts, except the assurance that "they saved the system". Well, when I was in business school, we were told that bankruptcy and the removal of assets from bad managers into the hands of good managers was the best way to handle firm failure. Why the hell are any bank executives who were anywhere near the decision-making teams at these firms still employed?

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 13:58 | 179070 Objective Soul
Objective Soul's picture

 Unemployment Compensation and welfare is also stemming the tide of social disorder and public outrage from reaching critical mass.

The social nets in an indirect way allow the con games to continue.

If/When these safety nets falter things will get interesting quickly.

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 12:33 | 178956 Master Bates
Master Bates's picture

You can kiss my ass.  I paid 120k in taxes to the government over the last five years.

Thank you SO MUCH for that 10k I'll get if I exhaust my UI benefits...

It's a bailout with MY money that I paid for unproductive soldiers to build schools in other countries and for unproductive financial types to lend money to people who fucked up the economy by buying granite countertops and adding another bathroom to their house even though they made 20k a year.

I'll say it again.  I paid 120k, and I might get 10k of it back.  It's MY money, not somebody else's.

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 12:42 | 178970 trav777
trav777's picture

lol...I paid more than that last year.

The system sucks.  I know people who directly benefit from this, profiteers off of a gov't leviathan.

And they form the loudest voices in opposition of middle class labor power.  To them anyone not lucky enough to inherit their wealth like they did should just STFU and pay rent.

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 13:29 | 179051 mikla
mikla's picture

I'll say it again.  I paid 120k, and I might get 10k of it back.  It's MY money, not somebody else's.

You forget the handling fee.  You getting maybe $10K from your $120K is about right.

Hmmm... after doing further calculations, it looks like you'll owe a little more to get that $10K, so let's just tax you on that as if it were income.

Mmmm, K?  Thanks.

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 14:33 | 179154 Cindy_Dies_In_T...
Cindy_Dies_In_The_End's picture

Well, don't forget the taxes on that 10K of unemployment.

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 16:46 | 179324 Rusty_Shackleford
Rusty_Shackleford's picture

This whole conversation reminds me of this favorite from Bastiat:


"Government is the great fiction through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else."

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 22:26 | 179596 max2205
max2205's picture

Exactly. Well put. Can not agree more.

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 11:43 | 178855 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Saw some reports that x number of unemployed unable to file for unemployment b/c they could not get through either phone or web to file. I think it was Conn. that had a server shut down from the demand.

Warren Buffet is said to have laid off 21,000 from his different companies and no hiring for some time to come, even if the "economy" turns around.

Happy New Year everyone!

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 11:44 | 178857 Brick
Brick's picture

I think all the reporting on this is pretty poor myself.The seasonally adjusted number for initial claims is 432,000 from a non seasonally adjusted figure of 557,000 giving a seasonal adjustment for the period of December 19 - Decemeber 26 of -125,000. Traditionally auto manufacturers and others do lay people off during this period. Looking back at the seasonal adjustment over the last 8 years for this particular week then unusually this is consistent(seems like they corrected the bias for last years figures) as a seasonal adjustment (give or take 20,000 which means the gains are noise). In contrast the seasonal adjustments for unemployment numbers for the week of December 19th are all less than 20,000 up to around 2005 when they started shooting up (They forgot to put this bit right).

Considering auto manufacturers have reduced their work forces the seasonal adjustments here are likely to be wrong.We should also note that California processed more claims in the week than usual and EUC and intial claims are for different weeks. For a rough guide you should be able to take the -254,000 in unemployment add on the 191,000 that fell off the register to work out how many new jobs there were, if they were for the same week of course (which they are not).

What ever way you look at it there were virtually no new jobs and a lot of people lost their benefits which will eventually feed through to the economy.The key for me has always been participation rates which for for all other countries has stabilized while the US particpation rate has tumbled.The US has somewhere near 60 percent of its working age citizens in employment, lower than anywhere else. This is showing up in tax receipts and highlights a fundamental deficit problem at both state and national level which other countries are not seing to the same degree.

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 11:51 | 178863 Jefferson
Jefferson's picture

Most people don't realize that the bond market collapse that occured in 1931 and is commonly accepted as having kicked off GD1 maxed out with 10 year T rates well under 4 percent. With the current debt overhang, 10 year T rates going over 4.5% would be absolutely catastrophic.

Gotta laugh at guys like Denninger calling for 10 year T rates over 10%.  Like that's ever going to happen. But at least he sees we are headed toward a deflationary collapse.

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 12:21 | 178915 Jefferson
Jefferson's picture

It will be a wake up call to the financial markets when the US Treasury attempts to pump out an additional $2 Trillion in net new issuance with the world's central banks including the Fed boycotting further sovereign debt purchases. If anybody bothered to look at the Fed's balance sheet they would realize the Fed has less Treasuries now than it did at the beginning of the GFC.


All the Fed did was allow the foreign central banks to transfer all of their junk agency backed MBS and debt onto the Fed's balance sheet. The central banking cartel figured out it would be a lot easier to convince the US taxpayer to take the losses coming off the Fed's balance sheet as opposed to the PBoC making a claim.

There's a reason PIMCO has sold off most of its MBS and is now sitting in cash just as the banks completed a major capital raising. 


It's game over for anybody who's actually paying attention.


Thu, 12/31/2009 - 12:33 | 178957 Ned Zeppelin
Ned Zeppelin's picture

Twas stealth QE, if you consider the agencies to be part of the US government by all criteria but in name.  The game was for foreign CBs to swap their non-guaranteed debt for full faith and credit obligations, although the wink and the nod as of Christmas Eve is "don't worry, it's all full faith and credit debt, including those GSEs."  The Fed will not boycott Treasury sales in 2010.  They will be the only significant buyer, either overtly, through QE 2, or covertly (as was done through the "household sector" purchases in 2009) or most likely, a combination of both. I would have thought the 2010 Agency debt will go unsold if it is not purchased by the Fed, but the Xmas Eve announcement may be enough of a signal to get some foreign support for that debt. 

PIMCO sale: did someone decide to pull their chips and exit the casino, or did someone have a sudden need for cash as their own "extend and pretend" situation reached the expiration date?

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 13:56 | 178981 Jefferson
Jefferson's picture

There will be no QE 2.

Just look at what is happening with the burgeoning market in unregulated sovereign debt CDS. What government in its right mind, after seeing what just happened with CDS and Lehman, would even allow this market to exist? 

CDS are going to be used to bludgeon European countries then the US into debt default spirals. At which point, developed nations will be forced to get bailouts from the IMF in exchange for accepting austerity measures including limits on carbon emissions and agreements to pay back bailout funds in SDRs.

Earlier this year Obama et. al. got Congress to pass legislation which he signed authorizing the IMF to issue a couple hundred billion dollars worth of SDRs some of which are now sitting on the Fed's balance sheet.  Now Soros is talking about using SDRs to fund climate change measures. Restricting carbon emissions isn't really conducive to efforts at reflation and economic growth.

Only by hard sovereign debt defaults can the IMF force developed nations to start using SDRs.

A little hiccup in Dubai and suddenly the credit agencies are whipping out downgrades left and right on Euroland.

Why do governments even allow credit rating agencies to downgrade sovereign debt obligations denominated in local currencies?

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 12:36 | 178962 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

got to laugh at asswipes like you who can't
remember back to the 1970s/80s...

of course on the other hand, we didn't have
qe and irs to control rates....but eventually the
fed will lose control and if it doesn't lose
control over interest rates it will lose control
over the frn...

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 12:50 | 178988 trav777
trav777's picture

Rates above 10% would render nearly every activity uneconomical.

Nobody would borrow ANY money into existence if they had to grow their venture by 10% in order to pay the credit back, assuming zero profit.  It's just not happening.

Deflationary collapse?  Already underway.  Last time, the response was brute-force devaluation.  Some may see it coming, but don't expect it to be announced on CNBC ahead of time.

The window in which to convert the so-called "priceless dollars" (the main meme of Douchinger and the TF crowd) into hard assets will be too small to capitalize on.  The in-crowd, like in Argentina, will have been silently migrating assets ahead of time.  This is like a nightclub're either already near the exit or you start moving there far in advance to collection Point of Recognition or else you're trapped.  Nobody sane waits around to try to time such an exit to the last second.

My advice is don't wait around for the last possible bit of "value" from your pricefull dollars.  The time to be getting out of them is not during a liquidation phase.  At some point, as we have already seen, strategic default happens.  IOW, people will NOT liquidate assets in order to repay claims.  They will say eff you and jinglemail.

Those expecting to find copious amounts of physical gold available during a deflationary liquidation phase will be disappointed.  NOBODY who is insolvent is going to relinquish such an asset.  If I knew, for example, the date of the priceless dollar, I would begin running up every credit and cash vehicle I had to buy bullion.  Because on that day, you just walk away from the obligations.

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 13:14 | 179024 Jefferson
Jefferson's picture

I think this will be a drawn out process.

Euroland and Japan will fall apart long before the US creating a rush to safe haven in US Treasuries.

There will be plenty of opportunities to buy gold and PMs at lower prices going forward.

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 14:36 | 179162 trav777
trav777's picture

No, there won't.  Last time during the deflation, gold was unobtanium.  The Mints stopped selling, the dealers ran out, there was very little to buy.

The US is not a safe haven...have you looked at our balance sheet?  How in the hell do you call a nation with $1.5T deficits a safe haven?

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 15:20 | 179225 David449420
David449420's picture

"I think this will be a drawn out process."

You HOPE this will be a drawn out process. 

Fact is, NOBODY knows how this is going to play out. 

What is happening and is going to happen has no historical parallels.

I HOPE it is not as calamitous as it appears to be.





Thu, 12/31/2009 - 11:56 | 178871 SteveNYC
SteveNYC's picture

Bloomberg, since about 18mths ago, has become a complete joke. I don't even visit the site anymore, as its content is complete dross/propaganda. I am actually quite certain that people like Ms. Schlisserman would be joining the unemployed ranks in the case they decided to actually report the truth, instead of the crap that their boss has been instructed to report by the United States Propaganda Machine.

Trading your soul and the truth for a paycheck = apalling.

Long live Zerohedge.

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 12:34 | 178959 geopol
geopol's picture


Thu, 12/31/2009 - 13:09 | 179018 Bam_Man
Bam_Man's picture

Please do not glorify these people by likening them to whores.

Whores provide a valuable (if illegal or sometimes immoral) service to their clients and are not generally engaged in the business of theft by deception.

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 13:30 | 179053 geopol
geopol's picture

The definition I employed was:

a venal or unscrupulous person



No carnal knowledge here

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 11:57 | 178874 Zina
Zina's picture

So I guess this means that companies that didn't go bankrupt have already fired almost everyone they could fire, and there is no more room for layoffs. But these companies will never hire people again, so the wretches who were fired can expect they will never achieve a new job, and will receive unemployment benefits for the next 20 years.

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 12:09 | 178899 WaterWings
WaterWings's picture

Exato. Continua, continua, pra sempre, ne?

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 13:02 | 179007 ptoemmes
ptoemmes's picture

Well, there is the 41,000 or so buyout offers from Ford and the so far rumored HP culling of the herd to come in January.

Buyouts are not technically layoffs so those 41,000 or so will never show up in a U3 stat - U6 maybe in due time.

Unemployed is unemployed just like dead is dead no matter how you get there - IMO.



Thu, 12/31/2009 - 20:01 | 179500 sethstorm
sethstorm's picture

That and you're going to have to make it nigh-impossible to discriminate against long-term unemployed should things turn around.  Offshoring has been useful in this regard for the last 2 major recessions, but now it's hit everyone at about every social class.

There will be a bottom and a recovery, but I expect plenty of folks to be "priced out" of it.  The only way they'll know is by a strange, yet consistent pattern of rejection notices.

Honesty these days means you're leaving money on the table, you forgot to price something out, and/or you've forgotten about certain parts of the law.  I hope that changes in the medium-long term, since it's not going to happen right here/now.

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 12:01 | 178882 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

I did some # crunching.

The high on continuing claims came on 6/26 they were 6.904
on that day EUC #'s were 2.596 for a total of 9.500.

lets look at were we are today...

Continuing claims were 4.981. EUC #'s were 4.448 for a total of 9.429. I did not enclude any of the "exented benefit" #'s.

so as you can see people arent finding jobs they are just playing with the #'s

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 12:02 | 178885 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Every morning, CNBC's writers practice reverse conclusion engineering. They have the rosy conclusion ready and find a way to make the incoming data support the foregone conclusion.

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 12:18 | 178918 johngaltfla
johngaltfla's picture

We had 557,155 NSA on what is essentially a 3 day work week last week. As pointed out the EUC's are still climbing higher and higher.

This week, we'll see numbers probably in the 500-530K range NSA on again a shortened week to file.

Recovery my ass. The government will juice the numbers with the hiring of Census workers in January and February but the reality is that the bond vigilantes overseas are going to end this bullcrap in January of unlimited financing of our bloated debtload.

Ben's dilemma is about to hit full force and if he does get re-appointed then he had best turn on the QE spigots or all hell breaks loose domestically as the banks fail in huge numbers.

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 12:25 | 178937 TJW
TJW's picture

Not to worry. Once everyone is unemployed, initial claims will be zero and we'll have full employment!

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 12:29 | 178947 TJW
TJW's picture

" the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie..."

-- Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 12:59 | 178999 digalert
digalert's picture

Silly Tyler, the UE #'s are "less worser" (technical CNBS phrase) in pep rally land.

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 13:15 | 179025 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

What happens when the claims are 0 and the EUC starts decreasing? Me thinks not too pretty a scenario either!

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 13:19 | 179033 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

At a future point, when everyone is out of work, there will be NO new jobless claims.

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 15:38 | 179248 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

I just went on EUC this week -- 11 months after being laid off. I suspect the increase in EUC numbers is going to surge over the next month or two.

This past year of job searching has been the worst experience of my life -- I've always been a top performer in school (top 5 MBA program, etc) and at work; now, it's as if I've got a contagious disease as the response rate to my applications/ calls is unbelievably dismal. I know people in manager positions who I wouldn't hire if they offered to work for free and yet they are working and I'm unemployed. I now understand what being "discouraged" really means and why so many people just drop out. What a strange country we live in now.

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 16:56 | 179336 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Best wishes for better results in the new year!

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 16:44 | 179321 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

I think people are making the wrong comparison. I don't know why because the difference is pretty basic:

- Initial claims are incremental persons to the unemployment ranks (i.e. newly unemployed)

- EUC is not incremental to the unemployment ranks (i.e. they were already unemployed...they simply changed status)

People point to EUC as if those numbers offset the initial claims figures. But they don't.

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 17:34 | 179380 Mark Beck
Mark Beck's picture

We all must decide for ourselves what is the truth, and do we speak it. Truth is not a game for those who are honest. The media does the people a disservice my misrepresenting the truth.

Our choices should be based on the best available facts. 

Mark Beck

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 18:10 | 179421 max2205
max2205's picture

By Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer , On Thursday December 31, 2009, 3:21 pm EST

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A record 20 million-plus Americans collected unemployment benefits at some point in 2009, a year that ended with the jobless rate at 10 percent.

As the pace of layoffs slows, the number of new applicants visiting unemployment offices has been on the decline in recent months. But limited hiring means the ranks of the long-term unemployed continues to grow, with more than 5.8 million people out of work for more than six months.

The number of new claims for jobless benefits dropped last week to 432,000, the Labor Department said Thursday, down sharply from its late March peak of 674,000. The decline signals that the economy could begin adding a small number of jobs in January, several economists said.

Still, hiring is unlikely to be strong enough to quickly bring down the unemployment rate, which fell from 10.2 percent in October to 10 percent in November. December's rate will be announced Jan. 8.

Companies will remain cautious about adding staff until they are confident the economic recovery is sustainable -- something they remain unsure about as consumers and businesses keep a lid on spending, and as the government begins to wind down various stimulus programs.

The Federal Reserve and private economists expect joblessness to stay above 9 percent through the end of 2010.

The slow pace of hiring will force Congress and the Obama administration in 2010 to spend as much as $70 billion to extend jobless aid for the long-term unemployed, or else let benefits -- which were extended several times in 2009 -- expire for millions of people.

"Fewer people are getting fired, but nobody is finding a job," said Dan Greenhaus, chief economic strategist at Miller Tabak.

Thursday's report illustrates the two different trends: first-time jobless claims are falling as layoffs ease, but the total number of people collecting unemployment checks is still rising.

More than 10.1 million people collected jobless benefits in the week of Dec. 12, the latest data available. That's up by about 200,000 compared with the previous week.

That figure includes 5.3 million people receiving the 26 weeks of aid customarily provided by the states, and 4.8 million people that have shifted to the extended benefit programs enacted by Congress over the past two years and paid for by the federal government. Unemployment insurance averages about $300 per week.

But the extensions are set to expire in February. That could mean as many as 1 million people would run out of unemployment aid in March, according to the National Employment Law Project, a nonprofit group.

The total number of people who at one point collected benefits in 2009 -- roughly 20.7 million -- is also a record. A larger proportion of the unemployed received jobless benefits in the last steep recession in 1981-82, but the work force has grown by about one-third since then.

Fifteen million Americans are out of work, an increase of 3.8 million since the start of 2009. There are six unemployed people, on average, for each available job. And the so-called underemployment rate, counting part-time workers who want full-time jobs and laid-off workers who have given up their job hunt, stands at 17.2 percent.

Budget-strapped state governments will struggle with higher spending on unemployment insurance in 2010. States are required to set aside money in a trust fund to pay jobless benefits, but 25 have already run through their funds and have borrowed $26 billion from the federal government.

The Labor Department has projected that 40 states may need to borrow as much as $90 billion by 2012.

Thirty-five states have already increased the unemployment insurance taxes they levy on employers for 2010, according to the National Association of State Workforce Agencies. Some are also cutting benefits as they try to reduce the size of budget shortfalls that are expected to reach $180 billion in the coming fiscal year.

The drain on federal and state finances could force Congress to consider raising the federal unemployment insurance tax, which is currently 0.8 percent on the first $7,000 of wages, or making other changes.

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 18:12 | 179423 max2205
max2205's picture


but this chart looks soooo goooood...TD, we have to hold off going long :(


when the charts are poisioned, we all go broke

Thu, 12/31/2009 - 19:40 | 179489 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

"It's not a lie....if you believe it's the truth.", George Costanza.

Fri, 01/01/2010 - 14:49 | 179948 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Truth and lies are usually determined by the majority, not by fact or reason. We simply like to believe our truths have a basis in fact so that we can sleep better at night. The capacity of the human mind for self deception is staggering.

Fri, 01/01/2010 - 06:20 | 179745 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

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Fri, 01/01/2010 - 15:08 | 179961 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

And, sadly too, is the suffering caused by not being able to sleep.

To rear the young, to deal with work or the lack of it, to survive the heavy hand of the 'state', to face the rot of aging, most of us willingly put blinders on and keep pace with the herd. Whether we march together to greener pastures or into the slaughter house does not seem to make much difference.

Wed, 01/13/2010 - 02:36 | 192066 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Hi, great post there! I like it very much,especially the table.

Thanks for posting it!


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