Initial Jobless Claims Spike Even As BLS "Estimates" California, Virginia, Hawai And DC Data; Back To Year Ago Levels

Tyler Durden's picture

Last week's initial claims "miracle", when it printed at 341K on expectations of a 360K print when the DOL estimated IL and CT claims, has once again been undone. Moments ago we got the February 16 number which, as could be anticipated, jumped by a solid 20,000, from an upward revised 342,000 to 362,000. And like last week, the Labor Department once again engaged in a huge guessing game, this time forecasting the claims for California, Virginia, Hawaii and DC, meaning next week's data will likely be even worse. Which is troubling. As the chart below shows, one would expect just a little more improvement from a recovery in which the just released initial claims of 362K are doing "so much better" compared to initial claims from precisely a year ago which were... 362K. Perhaps, keeping in line with greatly rotating themes, we can just call this "the 360 degree recovery  - where you always end up where you started." Or maybe, just maybe, the Fed's tinkering with the economy for 4 years running has broken the whole thing?

And once again, the incredible volatile Extended Unemployment benefits series continues to be incredibly volatile, as 232K people fall off the government handout dole. The number of Americans on extended benefits has plunged from 3.4 million a year ago to just 1.8 million as of February 2. These Americans can hardly be happy to be playing Call of Duty all day and not getting paid for it by Uncle Sam.

And speaking of made up numbers, the BLS reported that CPI in January rose, well, not at all, posting a 0.0% change in a month, in which gas prices printed near or at all time highs for the month of January. Because all those all too real price surges of virtually everything... those are just in your head according to the US government.

But don't worry - the BLS said there is no inflation. What was curious is that the core print, ex gas and food, actually rose more than expected at 0.3%, on expectations of a 0.2% rise, and up from 0.1% in December. Also, according to the BLS gas prices declined 3% in January?

It is unclear just how many hedonically deflated iPads one must have eaten in the month of January to miss the surge at the pump. One thing is certain: in February that number will be "more."

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GetZeeGold's picture



The estimates are not made up.....we just didn't bother to check.


Do you believe in miracles?

A Nanny Moose's picture

Indeed. if $1 in unemployment benefits generates $1.64 in economic activity, why not put everyone on unemployment? Why bother making such benefits temporary? Why bother manufacturing the numbers?

DeadFred's picture

New jobs are at the heart of this report.  Estimates were required because two of the BLS analysts took new jobs that they are well trained for, they are now writing Harlequin novels.

Joe Davola's picture

About 30 years ago, went in to audit a remote location of our company for their quality and testing procedures.  Funny thing was their automated test program had been setup to output numbers within the tolerance limits.  Always felt bad for those who got canned over it, but at least they landed on their feet at the BLS.

asteroids's picture

Bingo. Until the BLS starts releasing raw data it should be ignored. This  government has shown no moral shame and will lie when it they want to. Which, is every month.

TruthInSunshine's picture

Bernanke has an awesome set of tools and is going to fix everything*. He just needs time, as does Obamney & LewGeithner, capiche?


*Get To Work, Mr. Chairman!!!

pemdas's picture

Looks like MDB has some competition.

TruthInSunshine's picture

I can't hold a candle to MDB's brilliance and will be the first to admit it.

Joe Davola's picture

Pretty soon we'll be into the 6th year of TOTUS' 5 year recovery plan!

fuu's picture

Cheat to beat!

StychoKiller's picture

If the lyin' don't quit, you must have a fit! -- or something to that effect... :>D

Tsar Pointless's picture

One of Tsar Pointless' favorite movie lines sums it up best:

"It's lies! It's all lies!" - Mother Bates in Psycho.

Xibalba's picture


insanelysane's picture

Seems to me like the unemployment number is INFLATING just like the prices of EVERYTHING.  Job well done by the FED.

Everybodys All American's picture

Obamacare is just starting to create the layoffs all expect.

847328_3527's picture

Yes, O'care as well as postal rate increase, internet sales tax, 'swipe fees', increase municipal taxes to pay for local gubbermint employees, name it, jobs and small businesses are going under at an alarming rate. My friend just closed down his internet business. The stuff is pretty reasonably priced but when they get to the checkout and see the shipping costs, they cancel.


All these added costs and taxes are a serious drag on the economy. Lets not even go to the gas price increases recently. That's another story that will crush the 'bricks and mortar' stores, strip malls, etc.

BandGap's picture

At what point do they just actually say up is down, left is right and bad is good? All this prancing on the corners of objectivity....just say it. Very few are listening anyway, at least till the soup lines start up.

King_Julian's picture

I'm curious to see how this is played. How does this fit with the Fed's "moderate improvement" meme? I think it shows they are getting nervous about the trap they are in.

BandGap's picture

My bet is we get sunshine blown up our collective asses.....again.

This all feels like catching your teenager after a night drinking when he had the car. And after all the verbal gyrations, that always ends messy.

insanelysane's picture

CNN Money has article saying inflation is subdued but then in article say that gas has risen 15% in a month but just take fuel and food out of equation and we are all good.

Greshams Law's picture

Makes sense. Sure, an unavoidable, daily expense of yours is going up. And it drives up the cost of every item and service you consume. But the price of a house like yours just went down, so it all evens out.

See, no inflation.

TruthInSunshine's picture

If you're buying a 280" LCD HDTV 3D (where the store bundles a free iPad- Dudley Version) once every 3 weeks, the savings you're realizing compared to buying that same product two years ago is offsetting 1/2 of the increase in the electrcity, gasoline, other energy and the food you purchase on a weekly (or more frequent) basis.

So, let's be totally honest about this "inflation" misconception.

jtz5's picture

Makes sense that the BLS will now inflate #s to the high side to create a talking point on the whole sequestration nightmare.  Now, they can say on 2/28 (before 3/1 sequestration), we have to eliminate sequestration or these numbers will only get worse.  So predictable.

overmedicatedundersexed's picture

"sequestration nightmare?"..cutting 85 billion from dc = one months pomo from the FED, hardly a nightmare.

cut a trillion and you still have bloated .gov, get rid of TSA and HSA now theres cuts I can get behind.

jtz5's picture

I agree, it's no nightmare.  Didn't the gov't just add 1.6 trillion over next 10 years in tax increases?  Where is that money going?  Obama portrays it as a up, the late night TV circuit to push it and blame republicans.  This guy is like an 8th grade school girl.

forwardho's picture

Unfortunatley the country seems to be populated by 7th grade boys.

They are eating it up like candy.

Greshams Law's picture

POMO = unseen

Threatening to furlough 700,000 federal workers = Nonstop MSM coverage

It becomes a nightmare just as do tales of the boogeyman before bedtime.

TruthInSunshine's picture

As Santelli, that rebel, pointed out yesterday, the sequestration of 85 billion, as spread out as it would be, represents 1/3 of 1 percent of the ANNUAL U.S. Budget.

So, obviously, it's going to destroy life as we known it if allowed to take place. /sarc

lakecity55's picture

Cloward-Piven turned out to be a great weapon of Mass Destruction for the Collectivists.

HomeBrewPrepper's picture

Even though I'm a conservative and think we need to cut spending, my wife works for the federal government DoD, and it is pissing me off to think she would be sequestered and get a 10% cut in pay. Why don't they make the lazy asses who don't work (which I see everyday because I work near Baltimore) pay some taxes instead of none. I went and got gas the other day and people in front of me bought a small chocolate milk, and a cow tail, and used a EBT card. They were fat and in there young twentys. I have 3 kids and bust my ass everyday and they say we make to much money to even send our kids to public preschool. This is BS. This sequester will do harm in our area because the people that do pay taxes and do spend money are being penalized and will be forced to spend less in the economy which hurts everyone. If you make more you spend more and vice versa.

jtz5's picture

Totally agree.  I was in Costco the other day, and this fat woman in her 30s was talking on a new iPhone 5, her one kid was using an iPad Touch and the other two were sitting in the cart.  Now, we get up to the cashier and she pulls out an EBT card.  It took everything in my power not to ask her how the hell she can afford high end electronics, pricey cell/data plan and not groceries.  I am tired of it.

HomeBrewPrepper's picture

"Free Bama phone, Romney sucks"

Buckaroo Banzai's picture

Because each lazy ass who doesn't work and collects benefits has exactly the same number of votes that you do: 1.

Except there are a whole lot more of them than you. You see, it's much more cost-effective to buy votes with an EBT card and SSDI than it is with $150k/year DOD jobs. So prepare to have your benefits cut first! And after all, all numbers aside, you can't deny that what your wife does isn't almost entirely superfluous.

HomeBrewPrepper's picture

Its not, but I would have to kill you if you knew.


StychoKiller's picture

Idiocracy, only without the luxury of the 400-year time capsule!

q99x2's picture

Bring back Jerry Springer.

Cursive's picture

Looking at this and the WMT conference call this morning has me wondering - Maybe WMT revenues won't materialize from "late" tax refunds because unemployed people don't file tax returns.  Even the EIT credit requires you to have had a job.

MFLTucson's picture

Pretty soon thet will have to tax unemployment since it will account for the largest percentage of income in America.

fuu's picture

Unemployment is already taxed.

MFLTucson's picture

This is the economic growth that Bernanke and his fellow liars told us would help them to stop printing money!  Sure Ben.


hooligan2009's picture

no no..gas prices fell 3% in January, they didn't approach recent highs...wait a minute.....hmmm...wally world just said sales were hit by rising gas

jay28elle's picture

I think the one sentence in the whole piece sums it up perfectly..."Or maybe, just maybe, the Fed's tinkering with the economy for 4 years running has broken the whole thing?", and not every single metric can be fudged every single time.


Sandy15's picture

Yippy, it's bullish because the market didn't react negatively to the numbers........  Print Ben Print.......  Think I'll start printing my own to pay off my bills.  Same thing isn't it!!

azzhatter's picture

Well we have a charlatan in the White House, a pyschopathic cocksucker at the FED, and some pathetic excuses for humans as leadership in congress. What could possibly go wrong

gaoptimize's picture

I'll say it before anyone else does: Bullish.

Seriously, given the market reaction to the ambivalent FOMC minutes, this is exactly the kind of reinforcing warning this messed up market likes to see.


(Sandy15 beat me to it)

sbenard's picture

And in the Fed-fueled bubble economy, bad news is now seen as good news because now, the Fed just has to monetize still more debt!

TheMerryPrankster's picture

Wall (st) to wallmart,  its fucking Green Shoots everywhere. Green Acres is the place to be, "look at those green shostie things popping up evveyvere dahling."

They let that MF run the central bank and he is blind, deaf and most especially dumb - oh sorry that is the official list of job requirements to be Ben Bernanke.

eeaton's picture

With weekly initial claims averaging 372K how did Obama create 6 Million jobs?