Initial Jobless Claims Drop To Lowest Since January 2008 As 366K People Fall Off Extended Claims

Tyler Durden's picture

While it is unclear how many states' data the BLS had to estimate today, the weekly initial claims print was impressive, sliding even lower than last week, when it came at 335K, and refuting expectations of a rise to 355K, instead reversing and printing the lowest weekly number since January 2008: 330K. What is impressive is that the NSA number dropped by a whopping 120K in the past week, making one wonder how much of the ongoing moves are simply a seasonal adjustments mismatch (a question even Goldman asked last night). Perhaps just as curious is that a whopping 365,641 people dropped off Extended Claims in the first week of January, unclear if this had anything to do with the Fiscal Cliff can kicking: certainly a third of a million Americans suddenly stopped receiving weekly jobless claims benefits from Uncle Sam. The biggest news from this is that with so many people dropping out of the labor force, the January unemployment rate will truly plunge, which is precisely the red flag observed by traders, and is the reason why the market is not taking this news in stride. Remember - all it takes for the end of endless QE is a stable improvement in the labor pool. Could this be it? Of course not, but doubts are starting to emerge.

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GolfHatesMe's picture

Are we at 6.5 yet?

GetZeeGold's picture



The future's so bright.....I gotta wear shades.

Thomas's picture

"These are not the droids (jobless claims) you are looking for."

Future Jim's picture

There has been no jobs recovery. Not even a little bit. None of the lost jobs have been recovered. This tool at the federal reserve of St Louis can be quite handy for what little government data is still real.

BTW, QE will never end. Why would it? What incentive is there to end it vs. the incentives to continue it?

pallen's picture


I remember thinking the same thing in 1999 while studying computer engineering.

Things change fast...


imapopulistnow's picture

Are we at 6.5 yet?

Getting close.  One of the unintended "benefits" of Obamacare as companies relentlessly convert full time workers to part-time thus needed to hire more in total.

It's sorta similar to the unintended benefits of hyperinflation - we all will become millionaires!

goldfish1's picture

The Wal Mart model is my new business model. Gov't subsidizes food stamps and health care. What's not to love? /s

Stoploss's picture

Just watch oil price. 150.00/bll indicates 6.5 has been achieved.


cynicalskeptic's picture has unemployment heading HIGHER - somewhere past the 1932 mark of 23%.  

Foodstamps, disability, early 'retirement' and long term unemployment are keeping the soup kitchen  lines down (though the liness for food pantries are usually long - with food running out before the end is reached).  Government 'statistics' are all so bogus it's become laughable - with BOTH parties complicit in the fraud.   Real inflation is a hell of a lot higher than official numbers and heading higher - as anyone buying food knows.  Gasoline is higher of late as well and hate to see what my next fuel oil delivery will cost.

fonzannoon's picture

This is too easy. Spend all year talking about ending QE and see if they can get gold down around $1,200 while the market grinds higher. Then right before they end QE some big fkin thing happens that was a total shock and unaccounted for and could be harmful to the economy so they error on the safe side and continue QE "even though it is probably unnecessary".

Rinse, repeat.

GetZeeGold's picture



$1,200 seems a tad optimistic.......might want to buy a little now. At least you'll have some.

Shell Game's picture

Agreed. And alt-skill while there's time.  Craftsmen will be the new techies... 

rguptatx's picture

We should be going negative soon - so BULLISH!

Cursive's picture

This idea has been posted before, but here goes:  There will continue to be less jobless claims because workforce participation is lower.  This is part of the "New Normal."


Tyler makes a nice point about the unemployment number sliding and the effect this will have on the long-term prospects for QE.

mayhem_korner's picture



They are running out of people to fire.  Pretty soon they are going to have to start gnawing off their own legs...

(and they don't tastes very nice, do they Precious?)

JPM Hater001's picture

I'll get the handcuffs, a hack saw, and a can of gasoline.  Let's see how fast you can get it off?


forwardho's picture

If workplace participation goes to "0" will we have a 0% unemployment rate?

Just a hypothetical.

mayhem_korner's picture



Let's be clear: it was the inaugural speech and NOT Hillary's testosterone-rant in the Senate that is responsible for this latest indication of complete an unadulterated recovery.

Tsar Pointless's picture


Don't tell anybody that the seasonal adjustment was a larger percentage than the comparable week from last year, and that non-seasonally adjusted first-time UC claims were higher than the comparable week from last year.

firstdivision's picture

Ben, we've hit pre-crisis levels.  All is well again, go ahead and power down your printers....I dare you.

Terminus C's picture

I think this just demonstrates that there are fewer and fewer jobs left to lose... The economy is not yet adding jobs so the fact that it is losing less doesn't indicate good news.

Shizzmoney's picture

Great point.  The "quit" rates prove this; people aren't "moving on up" as an society that touts "upward mobility" as the key to its success.  In fact, people are moving backwards and that scratching you hear is people holding on to their jobs for dear life.

Also, the jobs that are being created as of now, are of the low wage variety (retail) or the temporary variety (which doesn't provide benefits, which eats into personal incomes).

The public is being cold decked.  And they'll fall for it too....because they are fucking stupid.

Ignorance is bliss's picture

I think Joe Six knows he is being donkied from the rear. He just doesn't know how to break their hold on him. You know what...neither do I. We can move into Gold, Silver, and lead, but if you loose your job you'll be selling your stash for cash. We still have to eat, pay the mortgage, and meet our bills. Unless those things stop counting and taxes stop counting, and debt stops counting, then Joe can't do a thing but weep.

TrumpXVI's picture


At some point, we'll be back to an unemployment rate of 5%........and a work force participation rate of prolly somewhere around 50%.

Halcyon days will be back.

It's all such bullshit.

pinqy's picture

Umm, the number of jobs has increased every month since September 2010 (the low point was Feb 2010 but it bounced up and down a little until September).

4.1 million jobs gained (private sector gained 4.5 million, govt lost 342,000)

q99x2's picture

The Robots are losing to the BLS.

SheepDog-One's picture

GREAT so everythings just fine now so Ben can stop with the daily POMO adrenaline injections directly into equities I'm sure.

Salt's picture

When the size of the non-labor pool equals the size of the labor pool there shall be balance in the Force and peace throughout the Empire.

Seasmoke's picture

It will be hilarious if all the BS numbers , screw Ben

alfred b.'s picture



The firing may be slowin'; but it don't mean that they're hiring either!

          ...and how about the 366K being dropped???


mayhem_korner's picture

doubts are starting to emerge


330,000 more doubters this week!

Wonder what the NSA number of doubters is?

Hohum's picture


NSA is about 436,000, 20K higher than one year ago.  It's two weeks in a row, NSA numbers up and SA numbers down.

Son of Loki's picture

Bigger payments. Social Security beneficiaries began receiving payments that were 1.7 percent larger in January 2013. The average monthly Social Security benefit in January increased from $1,240 to $1,261 as a result of the cost-of-living adjustment.


I told my Gampa not to go wild with all that money extra money.

fuu's picture

Just in time for the 2.5% increase in SS tax on the workers.

GeezerGeek's picture

My take, based on my SS income: Yes, I got a 1.7% raise in the nominal amount. I also had a deduction for Medicare increased by nearly $60, which is probably attributable to certain aspects of Obamacare and its effects on Medicare. I guarantee that the increased deduction is more than the increased payment. Net result, I'm marginally worse off.

Time to break out the scuba gear to recover some of those coins I lost in a boating accident, as I'll need to supplement my other resources by selling a few coins. At least swimming is good exercise.                                                    

TideFighter's picture

Notice to ALL Employees:

The DAY shift is now from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. 

The 2ND shift is from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The NIGHt shift is now 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

There will be no lunch or potty breaks . Feel free to piss in your pants.

GeezerGeek's picture

No potty breaks??? I read that even China allows workers two minutes to relieve themselves.

tbone654's picture

reason being, everyone will be needing 2 part-time jobs, rather than a single full-time job going forward...  And you will need that extra time for your new commute...  Thank you affordable health-care act...

polo007's picture

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and his fellow policy makers will probably forge ahead with their unprecedented bond buying when they meet next week, even as they pick up a debate that began in December on when to end the purchases.

The job market has yet to show the “substantial” gains Bernanke said he wants to see before halting asset purchases. Unemployment has persisted at 7.8 percent or higher since January 2009 while Bernanke held the main interest rate near zero and expanded the Fed’s assets to a record $2.97 trillion. Meanwhile, all 19 Federal Open Market Committee participants see no immediate threat from inflation, now at 1.4 percent.

The Fed chairman can count on the FOMC to endorse the current program to buy $45 billion in Treasury notes and $40 billion in mortgage bonds each month, said Nathan Sheets, Bernanke’s top adviser on international economics from 2007 to 2011. Six Fed officials have indicated in interviews and speeches that the central bank probably won’t pare its stimulus yet, and two district bank presidents who advocate record easing, Charles Evans of Chicago and Eric Rosengren of Boston, gained voting power this year in an annual FOMC rotation.

TideFighter's picture

The second man-date was for Obama.

forwardho's picture

a whopping 365,641 people dropped off Extended Claims in the first week of January

Month after month these people "drop off" the charts. They are not dropping off the world.

Just because they are not being counted, does not mean that they do not count.

What can they buy?

Where can they go?

What will they do?

A giant mass of have nothings, have nothing to lose.

John Law Lives's picture

Those of them who are not already on Food Stamps will likely end up there.  Some ~47 million in the US are there now.  They are probably all scratching their own heads wondering why they are being told a broad economic recovery is underway.

forwardho's picture

I understand that they will become wards of the state (so to speak). However, each one of these people used to work, earn money, produce or cause to be produced value. Now they are net drags. their numbers are legion. Food stamps are mentioned, yes, is this all they expect?

fuu's picture

Quite a few have made it into disability as well.

John Law Lives's picture

Many will likely move in with friends and relatives and huddle together to survive.  Some will end up dead or in jail.  It is insidious how millions of people have become debt slaves and part of a dependent class of citizens whilst Wall Street parties on.

Sudden Debt's picture

well it seems they don't need the money because otherwise they would have looked for a job or created their own job.


but you could also still get away with shooting indians back than so I guess times have changed a bit...

pinqy's picture

they're "dropped off" the Unemployment BENEFITS numbers because they're no longer receiving benefits. There's no way to tell if it's because they found jobs or if because they just ran out.

If they're still looking for work, they'll still be counted as unemployed in the UE rate, and if not, they'll still be counted and appear in whatever category they fit into.

youngman's picture

the headline numbers will be shouted out loud by the MSM....but in another 4 years of Obama...there will be less jobs...and many more people on the government dole.....millions I have said before ...the 47% will become the 55%....