Initial Claims Lower Than Expected At 332K, PPI In Line With Expectations

Tyler Durden's picture

The grind lower in initial jobless claims continues, which from an upwardly revised 342k (was 340K) last week, declined to 332K in the most recent week ended March 9, on expectations of an increase to 350K. This was the third consecutive beat in a row and the lowest total print since January, which in turn takes it all the way back to January 2008. Continuing claims were also better than expected, dropping from an upwardly-revised 3113K, to 3024K, on expectations of a 3090K print. According to the BLS, unlike the last time we had an abnormally low print, no states were estimated this time around.

From the report:

The highest insured unemployment rates in the week ending February 23 were in Alaska (6.2), Puerto Rico (4.7), Rhode Island (4.5), Connecticut (4.2), New Jersey (4.2), Montana (4.1), Pennsylvania (4.1), Massachusetts (4.0), Wisconsin (3.9), California (3.7), Illinois (3.7), and Oregon (3.7).


The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending March 2 were in California (+11,720), New York (+7,900), Missouri (+2,722), Kansas (+1,419), and Washington (+813), while the largest decreases were in Massachusetts (-4,193), North Carolina (-1,146), Connecticut (-913), Michigan (-909), and Florida (-726).

But perhaps the most curious finding in the report, is the ongoing V-Fib formation that extended and emergency claims are underoing, which now fluctuate by about 150K on a week in, week out basis, without any rhyme or reason.

Finally, as was widely expected by anyone familiar with the BLS' ways, the February PPI came right on top of expectations, rising 0.7% up from 0.2%. PPI ex food and energy was +0.2% from January, slightly higher than the 0.1% expected, and up 1.7% from a year ago.

A Seasonally adjusted Goldilocks economy all around, one which sadly has yet to manifest itself in any improvement in the 11%+ implied unemployment rate were one to use an accurate labor force participation rate, and not one reflecting a record number of people exiting the work force.

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eigenvalue's picture

Gold and silver are also lower than most bugs expected. What a pity!

GetZeeGold's picture



Down -0.53 percent....I jumped out the window.


Luckily the back door was open and I walked in and poured myself another cup of coffee.


I was also greatly relieved to hear the sequester had zero impact on employment....I was really worried about that. We should do another one.

eigenvalue's picture

You jumped out of the window? I remember that you live on the ground floor. Jumping out of the window is not so hazardous for you.

GetZeeGold's picture



Coulda got a grass stain....just sayin.

DblAjent's picture

Not a pity.

A buying opportunity.

Stack 'em Baby.

At these prices I am able to replenish after I lost my prior stacks in a tragic avalanche.

Darth Stacker's picture

"Tragic avalanche?" I keep hearing of all these boat accidents. We have some really unlucky people here at ZH!

Winston of Oceania's picture

I took my PM's for a short sail and we were struck by a rouge wave, lost it all. My guns and ammo launched a valiant rescue but they too sadly were taken down in a freak storm.

madbraz's picture

I have been looking at the extended (EUC2008 tier-14) data since the beginning of the year - it is statistically unjustifiable.  In other words, either someone can explain why it now has 150K swings weekly (never happened in the last 3 years) or it is being manipulated.


My theory (and I'm not Larry Summers!):  some new claims are being booked directly into Tier 1, bypassing being reported as a new claim.  HFT rejoice.

Hilda Solis surprisingly resigned from the BLS at the end of 2012....hmmmm

CrashisOptimistic's picture

It seems more likely that the transition of the workforce to part time work may preclude a claim when hours are cut.

PUD's picture

Give up now.... resistance is futile. All these articles and posts are a brutal waste of time and energy. Everything will carry on as planned and you will bang your head against a brick wall until it explodes. Your head that is. Not until a black swan emerges will anything you post here matter. Beating back the tide is all you're doing sorry to say.

BandGap's picture

Fuck off, this is therapeutic for me. So while we all wait for the inevitable outcome, let's just keep bitching.


PUD's picture

suit yourself but if you're betting money on any of this I feel sorry for you. It isn't that I disagree with a single article here only that 4 years of bull market ought to give one pause about the imminent collapse don't ya think?

GetZeeGold's picture



4 years of printing money.....what could go wrong there?

disabledvet's picture

God forbid if we get an economic recovery worthy of the name. I do agree capital markets seemed to have suffered a permanent impairment. Ah the days when gold was money and no one need worry about such things save bankers...

fuu's picture

"4 years of bull market ought to give one pause about the imminent collapse don't ya think?

Bbbbbbbbbenny and the Jets.

Schmuck Raker's picture

~8,000 fewer claims : ~8,000 pigs in a river.....hmmm,

there are no coincidences.

d edwards's picture

Consider this: under 0bamcare law anyone working 30 hrs/week is entitled to employer health care. 30 hrs. is now the standard instead of 40 hrs.

Employers can't afford it, so workers are reduced to under 30 hrs. creating more "part time" jobs, so employment numbers go up-good for 0blama propagandists not so good for working folks.

Also, people who run out of unemployment payments are not counted as unemployed-they just sort of disappear from the statistics.

HelluvaEngineer's picture

Unexpected?  No, I fully expected it when futures were surging for no apparent reason before this report came out.

busted by the bailout's picture

The question now is, are the unemployment and job creation numbers a lagging indicator or a harbinger of faster growth? 

The bond market appears to believe it signals faster growth, and I am thinking so too.  It seems the American consumer is going to once again save the day, not manufacturing and exports.

Frozen IcQb's picture

IMHO, the American consumer is tapped-out.

All these Unemployment stats are smoke and mirror. Average household income has fallen of the cliff since 2007.

See here:


Rip van Wrinkle's picture

From where is the US consumer getting his spending money? His vastly increased salary? His vastly increased cerdit card limits? His vastly inflated property?


Just where does the US consumer get the cash to keep up with the Jones?

Frozen IcQb's picture

The losses of high paying manufacturing jobs are partly offset by several low paying part-time positions.

This camouflages the employment stats but reduces the disposable income that’s required to sustain an economy that’s 70% consumer driven.


CrashisOptimistic's picture

Yes this is pretty much my theory.  The workforce is being transitioned to part time.  A cut in hours doesn't generate a new claim.

Another thing you didn't mention.  All the econometric models presume 7.7% unemployment is 92.3% employed full time generating tax revs at that commensurate rate.

This means all the tax revenue models are going to miss.

SheepDog-One's picture

What are you, on dope? In reality, no ones making any more, no one is 'doing any better'....a whole bunch of people I know who were well off I see now pinching pennies. Their cars are in disrepair, they don't go out....'consumer' is tapped.

DblAjent's picture


I haven't had a pay increase in over 3 years. My taxes have gone up. Prices are increasing all around me - food, entertainment, insurance, utilities...

Who the fuck is better off today and why is this a bull market?

busted by the bailout's picture

Your anecdotes don't prove anything.  It's not about you and your neighbors, it's about the aggregate of all income in the country: more jobs = more income = more sales = more corporate profits and higher GDP.

 Listen, I have been short for 5 years waiting for the big collapse that ALMOST happened in 2008.  It was stopped in mid-collapse then, and now the data is not indicating a significant worsening of the economy, so that collapse is never going to happen now. 

 I'm am as skeptical as anyone, but I can't look at the mounting data and deny it forever.  The collapse ain't coming any time soon, imo.  You can always choose to discount the data as lies, but at some point you have to admit, that there is too much of it to ALL be lies or wrong. 

 Home sales and prices, job creation, retail sales, equity prices, etc; what is the data showing worsening rather than improvement that outweighs the positive data?

I have lost a fortune being short and because of the manipulation of the economy and markets, but it looks like I will never get it back on the short side.  It's time to stop denying reality, as contrived as it may be.  It is bitter medicine to admit you are wrong, but sometimes that is the only way to move forward.  

 It appears to be time to stop clinging to our own fantasies of the impossibility that bailouts and money creation can work to stave off economic reality.  It appears it can and has been a bridge from depression to renewed growth, albeit slower due to demographics and globalization.

That's my view, until I see more data showing otherwise.

fuu's picture

"I have lost a fortune being short and because of the manipulation of the economy and markets, but it looks like I will never get it back on the short side.  It's time to stop denying reality, as contrived as it may be.  It is bitter medicine to admit you are wrong, but sometimes that is the only way to move forward. "

Keep feeding them your tokens, you will get the high score someday.



busted by the bailout's picture

So what is your position, or are you here just to make personal attacks against those who are trying to engage in discussion and make sense of the economy and the markets? 

All I did was ask a reasonable question in my first post and I end up having to defend against criticism rather than discuss the issues.  Is there no place on the web people can just engage in reasonable conversation without ad hominem attacks?

fuu's picture

You've lost a fortune gambling in a rigged casino, now you want to get it back betting big on black because that is the direction the market is going.


busted by the bailout's picture

I never said that.  My original comment was not about my bets, it was about the economy. 

Just forget it, you guys are always right.  Or at least you think so.  And it’s easy to believe you are right when you only see the world only through the filter of your own pre-determined ideas and conclusions. 

We all do that to some extent, but I try to consider both sides of every argument to overcome this trap.  ZH is obviously the wrong place to do that.  If you don’t adhere to the negative, end-of-the-financial world collapse groupthink, then you are immediately attacked as a retard and a sheep.  How juvenile and ignorant.

Winston of Oceania's picture

Kinda soft skinned aren't you? I thought sell side trolls were tougher than that...

My position is out of the rigged casino and into productive assets.

Hohum's picture


Good point, although growth as defined by GDP/total credit market debt ended a long time ago and won't return.

Lewshine's picture

So if I read your post correctly, you stayed short through this parabolic move off the lows of 2009?...And now you are convinced that its time to believe as true what you knew then as nothing but lies? ...And because of those losses and the fact that the lies seem to have some validity since the market continues to go higher without any significant threat of further losses - You are now a committed long?? Let me tell you what this means to me. You're the greater fool, and your PERFECT copitulation just convinced me to go short!!

Chump's picture

Yep, wrong for 5 years and finally "changes teams."  The top is in!

1Inthebeginning's picture

I saw a kid on yutb in Africa that salvages electronics.  Near zero costs, a lot of curiosity and viola he's got something new.  Real wealth creation.  



ejmoosa's picture

Job creation is a  lagging indicator.  It trails the rate of aanualized profit growth by 12-15 months.  

As for unemployment, that depends on how long companies are willing to hang on at any given time before cutting.  With the constant harping by MSM that things are getting better, it's no surprise.


In 2008, to make sure McCain loss, there was no efforts by MSM to say things were getting better.  In fact, they made it worse by panicking homeowners they may be upside down on their mortgages....


Yet everyone that buys and and finances a car experiences the same thing.  And there was no freakout in that market.

laomei's picture

Cars are cheap.  No one buys a kia with 0% down and expects to be able to flip it next week for double.


The entire basis behind the mortgage securities was:

Housing always goes up in value, so it's zero risk.  If for whatever reason the mortgage goes into default, the house can be resold and everyone wins 100% of the time.  If for whatever retarded reason it doesn't it doesn't matter, because the security is bundled with thousands of others.  And if it all goes to shit, oh well, AIG has our backs, so bam, AAA status and perfect for everyone to dump endless cash into.  Cash, which is fueling bonuses, so better tell everyone down the line to push those mortgages on everyone with a pulse and get the biggest house they can't afford!


Which of course results in demand for new development projects of absolute crap to suck the most profit possible out of the deal at every single level.  There's the basis for I don't know how many years of the US economy.  Meanwhile, everyone, oh so confident in housing always going up, is sold on the notion that it's just silly to leave equity sitting there.  Enter HELOC bullshit, fueling the economy because in reality, the economy has been broken since the 70s.  1 income is no longer enough, 2 incomes are no longer enough, living on credit cards is no longer enough, so tap that house and funnel everything to those at the top while you live the lie.


Look now at those war chests that are being filled by all the major companies. Why would they do that? Simple really.  If that cash hits the economy, the economy is fucked.  It's part of the deal.  Fed's just gonna print to infinity and manipulate the market by buying anything it has to to make the stock market seem healthy.  The goal is to somehow spark consumer confidence so it can come off of life support and then inflate away all the consequences.  Those trillions off shore will never hit the economy, they can't, because it would destroy the monetary manipulation/policy being sought.  This, I believe is the true goal of FATCA.  To create a system which makes seizure of funds easier and prevent large inflows.  It has nothing to do with tax per se, and everything to do with the cancellation of liability.  


So, look again at that mortgage security example.

The government believes it can just keep printing away without worry because the rest of the world will always buy up the USD as it's the safest thing ever.  Because of this, the US can just print and print and print and maintain low inflation.  World trade is dictated in USD, and due to financial regulations pressed by the US, they have to have the USD in reserve just to participate. The more we threaten inflation by printing, the more they have to buy to prevent it from happening or else the will face their own currencies and economies suffer.  And if it all shits the bed, joke's on them, we can just print more.


The US economy flat out requires inflation to survive.  It's the bug in the system.  The trick the US seems to think it's found is to export the negative aspect of inflation, while maintaining the benefits.  The warchests sit overseas as the USD falls in value, yet their statements are denominated in USD.  They get to claim growth regardless.  Any other nation that dares to counter it by printing is a "manipulator".  Any nation that opts out from the bullshit entirely is a "rogue state".


The system as it is is already broken.  The Fed is buying their own bullshit now to keep it from hitting the economy.  The numbers and stats are all being manipulated to present the case for a reality that does not exist in the hopes that enough people fall for it.  The problem is that they have bought their own bullshit and refuse to accept that their perfect little system could possibly be fucked up entirely.  When it does crash next, it will crash hard.  As the entire system has been built on a base of fraud and deep down, everyone knows it.  It's not even worth playing one side of the market or the other anymore.  Just cash out, put it into something of value that will hold some form of value and enjoy.  Everything else is just various degrees of losing.


Hongcha's picture

Ramp and camp.

Winston Churchill's picture

Garbage in =garbage out.

Confundido's picture

If I was short gold and after a week of good numbers the spot price resisted above $1,580/oz....I would be covering my position right now. 

Bullion banks are not loaning gold now. In fact, they are using gold counterparties to get liquidity. Those short of the metal have time against them. Every fucking month there is an additional $85BN out there and if they really thought that monetary policy is driven by unemployment, they deserve everything there is on their way.






DblAjent's picture

Can you repeat that in Dummy Speak, please?

Confundido's picture

Ok, here I go again:

On the fiscal side of things, you have the US govt running into primary deficits that need to be financed. I am excluding interest payments here, that are not a problem now, because we have zero interest rates.

If the Fed stops buying, all of a sudden, the entire primary deficit is offered in the market. Supply vs demand goes up.

But at the same time, if the Fed not only stops buying but also does not reinvest the money that is paid upon maturity of the debt in stock, the market does not only have to buy the debt corresponding to the primary deficit, but also the refinancing of the debt held by the Fed. Trillions.

In that context, rates would rise, making now interest payments relevant, causing even more stress and not only to the goverment. Corporate defaults would ensue kicking in a recession, lowering tax collection = increasing the primary deficits.


Conclusion: Lower jobless claims = Excellent opportunity to purchase and stack the most undervalued assets in this market: Silver and gold.

NoWayJose's picture

Well said. I have often wondered why stories about the Fed ending easing are bad for gold. I agree, gold will shoot higher when the Fed stops easing.

caimen garou's picture

Houdini at it again with the numbers game, you could'nt find a better magic show anywhere but here in the US! now where is that bucket of popcorn and my big gulp soda.

MFLTucson's picture

The clown show continues.  Tell a guy out of work that things are getting better.  They will laugh in your face as do most of us who read this ruubbish.

q99x2's picture

Part Time layoffs don't collect unemployment hence the rise in EBT.

Printfaster's picture

Bingo.  Obamacare means more jobs at less than 30 hrs, and more EBT since layoffs disappear.  More jobs, fewer layoffs, lower unemployment rate.