Initial Claims Drop To 324K, Lowest Since January 2008

Tyler Durden's picture

There was no surprise in today's Initial Claims data, which continued the downward trend seen in recent months (despite the data seen in the most recent JOLTS survey which was hardly as optimistic on recent labor trends as the NFP number of the weekly claims data), with the headline number dropping to 323K, down from an upward revised 327K, and below the expected 335K print. On the surface, and at least to algos, this continues to be good news. The question remains whether the improving claim trend is due to fewer layoffs, or a lower marginal detachment workforce due to the labor force participation rate which was at 33 year lows for the second month in a low. At this point any additional substantial drops below the 300,000 range will likely mean a major distortion in the labor force as this is where claims numbers were at a time when the economy was actually strong, as opposed to the current liquified stock-market manipulated sham.

That said, with the whisper number expecting a 2-handle on the claims data, it will have to settle for the unadjusted number dropping below the 300,000 range, or 298,497 in the first week of March. People on continuing claims also declined from the upward revised print of 3.032MM, to just over 3MM or, 3,005K, and below expectations of 3,018K.

In total, 4,874,526 citizens claims benefits across all government programs in the week ended April 20, down 89,292 from the week before.

Also from the report, there was the traditional jab at US "Austerity" with the following remark: "There were 18,726 former Federal civilian employees claiming UI benefits for the week ending April 20, an increase of 531 from the previous week. Newly discharged veterans claiming benefits totaled 36,718, a decrease of 435 from the prior week." The implications are clear.

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digitlman's picture

Good for 200 pts on the DOW.



insanelysane's picture

More than 200.  At least 2 fitty.  Sequester is best thing to happen to economy.

DavidC's picture

POMO today is 'only' $1.00 - $1.50 billion, Outright TIPS,

And we've got wholesale inventories and sales in a lttle while, could be interesting.


buchesky's picture

still seems pretty high

espirit's picture

There is a disturbance in the force.

I am more equal than others's picture

Lies, lies and more lies.


kridkrid's picture

It doesn't have to be a lie, really. The stat itself is somewhat meaningless, which is one of the reasons that it is provided as a "headline". Not here, specifically, but in general. If nobody is working, and those who are working work in shitty, meaningless service industry sort of jobs, who cares what the initial claims number is? GDP is another meaningless number... As are the stock market indexes. It's like telling me that the engine rooms are fully operational while the ship is sinking due to the gaping fucking hole in the hull.

cynicalskeptic's picture

You're running out of jobs to cut - at least jobs that do REAL work (plenty of excess upper management that could go).

Companies are running with LESS people than they really need - dumping more on those remaining to keep costs low. They're also getting rid of more expensive mid range talent.  One relative working in a major bank 's operations unit was worried that by NOT having a college degree she'd be at risk.  Hell no. They got rid of the better paid college grads above her.

Not a lot of muscle left to cut from the bones of this anorexic economy.

kridkrid's picture

Now consider that scenario in the context of a debt fueled economy. When 2008 (or worse) happens again, and people are only fooling themselves if the don't think that is right on the horizon, what then?

auntiesocial's picture

If everything is so awesome, then why isn't everyone borrowing at zero interest rates? QUICK JAMES! Take me to the bank so I can get a ZERO INTEREST LOAN! 

docj's picture

Splendid. So can we yet...

1) Stop POMO?

2) Stop monetizing $85B/month of new debt?

3) Balance the Fed.Gov's budget?

No? Well then whoop-de-damn-do for our running out of people to lay-off 4-years into an economic "Recovery".

Edit: So does this also mean that Sequester-mageddon is, in the net, "jobs positive"? And if so, can we have some moar?!?!?

SamAdams's picture

Clearly the effect of employer confidence in Obama Care.  Quickly now, inform the unemployed that they are not...

Temporalist's picture

Claims drop to zero, everyone is issued government cheese, a credit card and a box to live in.  Forward!

Poetic injustice's picture

+mobile phone, and you can qualify for lots of credits with 0% payment.

TeamDepends's picture

Double-plus good!

SamAdams's picture

The Ministry of Truth could eliminate unemployment altogether by simply changing the definition:

"You are not unemployed, but under-utilized"...  Unemployment therefore falls to zero and the crisis is averted. 

cynicalskeptic's picture

One good pandemic would be a far more 'effective' solution.  On the scale of the Black Death, such an event would serve to redistribute the accumulated wealth of the dead to the living, increasing the spending power of those who survive.   Eonomically, The Black Death was a 'good' thing.      And think of all the money spent on pharma - 'cause you KNOW that with enough money, you'd be able to get teatment.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Well! I for one am glad they fixed that.

Now.....if they would just get to work on the national debt I could die happy.

Bay of Pigs's picture

And bury us clutching some gold coins with our cold dead hands?

Sounds like a plan...

Quinvarius's picture

I think we have to move to an hours worked model after Obamacare has begun to change the US into an all part time/temp workforce. 

gigaweb's picture

Exactly - declining unemployment claims may be the leading-edge indicator as employers convert more of their employees to part-time (<30 hours/week), and then hire more part-timers, to keep from having to provide insurance under ObamaCare's requirements.  But regardless of "hours worked," Obama will be able to crow about how more people are technically "employed."

sethstorm's picture

Then what happens if those limits get changed to something that can't be dodged?  That is, they just effectively kill the classifications that businesses are using to dodge the law by making it impossible to undercut a directly-hired FT/full benefit worker.

Having those limits even exist was a bad idea in the first place, never mind the whole law that PPACA is. 

sethstorm's picture

Or start counting temporary/indirect/staffing agency workers as (employer-formed) labor unions - so that Right to Work can be used to kill the use of second-class labor as a benefits dodge.  

Any work model based on massive amounts of temporary employment is one that denies freedom and makes things worse off.




Cursive's picture
The question remains whether the improving claim trend is due to fewer layoffs, or a lower marginal detachment workforce due to the labor force participation rate which was at 33 year lows for the second month in a low.
I'm going with the latter.
fiftybagger's picture

zero jobs = zero Initial Claims = zero percent unemployment rate.

Mission accomplished.  Thanks Barry and Ben.

Silver For The People

toadold's picture

Ah yes the financials salemen find one statistic they can spin and don't mention all the other indicators that are "not good". In my area too many people are working multiple part time jobs.  Too many people have gone on SS disability, and all the other indicators that the Zero Hedge mavens have posted. Makes you wonder where all the "experts" of the Main Strain financial press have their lips applied and are they doing it with eyes open or shut.

Bite the pillow and take it investors and taxpayers. It's good for you.

cynicalskeptic's picture

Would be nice if they could still afford some lube.... and maybe use something not so splintery.  Feels like a telephone pole lately.

Bill D. Cat's picture

Guess they can stop with the QE anytime now .

AcidRastaHead's picture

Party like it's Tuesday.

SheepDog-One's picture

324,000 is still a huge number.

dbTX's picture

S & P to the moon!!

buzzsaw99's picture

mission accomplished

Never One Roach's picture

Luckily, you still need zero money to buy a house and can still grab one of those 97 month car all's ok, right.

rsnoble's picture

big surprise.  Eventually we'll have 75% unemployment and only 5 people per month will get laid off. LOL.

wonderatitall's picture

barry "the nose" ritholtz says its because of bush.... i mean the mob boss that our king appt... barry "blame bush" ritholtz loves him some mob boss

Temporalist's picture

This is why ZH is a necessity:

Report: CBS News Bosses Irked by Correspondent's Thorough Benghazi Reporting

""Dangerously close to advocacy"?  That's how CBS News apparently views the work of a reporter who is doggedly seeking truth about an issue of enormous importance that many of her colleagues have scrupulously ignored.  Remarkable."

Jack of All Trades's picture

cBS news would certainly know about advocacy.

otto skorzeny's picture

CBS is basically Tel Aviv's US propaganda channel.

autofixer's picture

CBS News boss is brother of Obama speechwriter Ben Rhodes:

ejmoosa's picture

THe nature if labor in the US has changed fundamentally.


Therefore the meaning of both NFP and unemployment claims have also changed fundamentally, and do not reflect employment as the did just five years ago.

adr's picture

Part timers aren't eligible for unemployment.

Most people who could have got a job realized they can make more money from Gov programs than an actual job. If you never take a job, you can't make a claim for UE.

I saw an old man driving a 1980s Buick park in the striped off handicap van loading zone because every handicap spot was taken up by an EBT SSDI welfare queen driving a new Chevy. Poor guy had to park illegally and pull his walker from the back seat.

Welfare momma came out with two carts and opened the liftgate of her brand new Traverse. Filled it up and walked back inside to get her other carts. Perhaps she has some unknown condition that requires her to be held up by two shopping carts filled with crap.

If you walk into a store during the first weekend of the month, you might think retail is doing well. Then they become ghost towns until the next time the EBT cards get filled.

razorthin's picture

Jesus, INITIAL claims?  Shouldn't that be ZERO by now?

RaceToTheBottom's picture

I think people just stopped wanting cheese.

thismarketisrigged's picture

why does the market care about jobless claims?


it means nothing. i know plenty of people who are out of work, and they are not counted towards this number. it means nothing, absolutely nothing.


of course though because it was better than the street expected, market must go to the moon now.

razorthin's picture

Holy fucking froth.  What a farce.

Son of Loki's picture

You hear a lot of just-surviving talk on the sidewalks of Jackson Heights, a polyglot neighborhood just south of LaGuardia Airport. Rajesh, a limo driver who declined to give his last name, says he’s barely scraping by in spite of driving or waiting for fares at least 12 hours a day, seven days a week. “One day ends, the next day is coming,” he says. Klaus Bauer, a 24-year-old immigrant from Cape Town, South Africa, is trying with little success to make it in computer science. He’s homeless. “Right now I might be moving somewhere,” says Bauer. “Another city. Another state. Trying to find some seasonal work, off the books.