Jobless Claims - The Economic Miracle That Wasn't

Tyler Durden's picture

The noise in the jobless claims data over the past few months has been unprecedented and yet the impressive jump lower in recent weeks has been trumpeted as the all-clear for Tapering and as a signal that the recovery is 'real' this time. Except, thanks to a huge 'glitch' in Florida's new CONNECT unemployment claims website, the data is completely FUBAR...


Via The Miami Herald,

The story so far...

Florida’s ongoing claims for unemployment benefits plummeted to the lowest level in six years from mid-October to early December. The average of 20,000 fewer weekly claims from the prior nine weeks represents a plunge of 18 percent, the sharpest decline in 15 years.


Yet rather than herald an improving job market, chalk up Florida’s shrinking claims numbers instead to the troubled debut of the state’s unemployment claims website, CONNECT.

And echoing Obamacare's SNAFU...

Since its October launch, the $63 million website has been plagued by glitches, sowing confusion and despair among many of the 235,000 claimants who file every other week to help pay for essentials like food and rent.


Difficulties in logging on or navigating CONNECT have precluded thousands from collecting.

With significant implications...

I’m about to be thrown out on the street,” said Allen Schwalb of Seminole, who was laid off from a warehouse job in October but as of this week had yet to receive any benefits despite many attempts to file. “The state now owes me $1,400 for eight weeks of unemployment. I don’t know what I will do if I don’t receive it soon.”




Upon going live Oct. 15, the CONNECT site struggled anyway.


Unemployment offices were packed with those who said they couldn’t log on. Phone lines were jammed. Calls were dropped. Frustration grew.

To which the government first denied...

Some of the press stories about CONNECT have been incomplete and focused on a narrative that is more likely to grab readers than to accurately report facts,” Panuccio told the Senate’s Commerce and Tourism Committee on Nov. 4.

Then admitted...

By December, however, Panuccio conceded all was not going well. The project was no longer meeting expectations. He posted messages on the DEO’s website acknowledging difficulties.

Which means, simply, the data is useless and the people who need it the most are not getting it...

The drop in claims is so dramatic and so precisely coincides with the launching of CONNECT that there can be no other explanation,” Greenfield said. “This is having an effect on a huge group of people. We’re very disappointed in the length of time it’s taken to get these people their benefits.”




Florida is notoriously tight-fisted when it comes to unemployment benefits, which makes CONNECT’s failings even more glaring.


“Florida in the last few years has made it virtually impossible to access benefits,” said Maurice Emsellem, a staff director with the National Employment Law Project. “The digital divide is a reality, so why on earth would you require to register online? It’s not fair access.”

But it's going to get worse...

Florida is one of six states that provides job-seekers fewer than 26 weeks of coverage. Now offering 19 weeks, Florida will drop to 16 weeks starting in January. Under Florida law, the lower the unemployment rate (which has fallen to 6.4 percent), the fewer weeks of compensation an unemployed person receives.


Once federal unemployment compensations expire, coverage for Ewing and 73,000 other Floridians is immediately eliminated.

It's a narrative we hear all too often - failure of big government, deny, deny, deny, small admission... but any good headline is clung to and any naysayer shrugged off as meaningless, racist, or a doomsayer...


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Seize Mars's picture

All of this idiocy, inefficiency, callousness and plain old evil, is the State at work.

Remember, your ownership of fiat dollars means you have confidence in this system.

Think about it.

If you hold fiat dollars, you are endorsing this behavior.

If you dont like these people or what they do, then get out of fiat dollars. Do it now.

The State: ideas so good, they need to force you. (TM)


AssFire's picture

If you like being unemployed, you can stay unemployed....

(The only promise he'll keep when the feds. step in and extend the benefits again)

knukles's picture

They told us the numbers were reliable and everything was A-OK.

So I'm now supposed to...
Yes, litle Knukie, another Glitch in the System
Nothing to see, hear, eat, wear or live in, but not to worry.
It's all OK

Xibalba's picture

It's always Florida, isn't it? 

kaiserhoff's picture

No, sometimes it's Calipornia, or even Joisy, or Deeetroit...,

  but there are trends and patterns.

Bad Attitude's picture

Old: "It's Bush's fault."

New: "It's the website's fault."

Forward (over the cliff)!

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Forward into 2014!  Gold, junk silver, Bitcoin, Energy, "White Swans", my take on geopolitics (and US politics) and my own little spiritual journey...  Thoughts, not predictions!

"Thinking About 2014"

ZerOhead's picture

If they could only abolish unemployment benefits entirely then there would be no new claims and Obama's recovery could be the complete success we all know it to be...

GeezerGeek's picture

I did some IT work for Florida's Department of Banking & Finance back in the mid-1990s, The state's IT was messed up then, they blew vast amounts of money on non-functional systems over the ensuing years, and apparently they're still doing it. There is insufficient reason to worry about failure in Tallahassee, or for that matter any other state capitol. 

Let's just lay it all at Bush's feet. Jeb, that it. And the current (Republican) governor is up for reelection this coming fall (perhaps running against the former "I was a Republican before I was a Democrat" governor) , so it would be great to have miniscule unemployment statistics. Meanwhile, there are plenty of jobs in lawn maintenance services here, although I have several times been accused, good-naturedly, by some of them who see me cutting my own grass and claiming that I'm taking money out of their pockets. 


kaiserhoff's picture

It's the new math, knuks, not for volk like us.

If you want the books to balance, you are not part of the free shit army.

Over the river and through the woods, or into the river and over a cliff?

knukles's picture

Meanwhile the New Potentates of Versailles enjoy airfacre chartered flights home for the hoilidays stocked with Dom Perignon and caviar.

Happy New Year and Blessings, Kaiser....

kaiserhoff's picture

thanks kucks, same back at you.

We survived another year.  Is that a blessing or a curse?

knukles's picture

Well, Kaiser, so far nobody's wished me "interesting times" so I assume it's a blessing.  Maybe in disguise, but we're here.  Like Here, sitting watching the decline and fall of Pax Americana, the End of Empire right before our very eyes, day by day, little by little, realizing what's happening while most of those around us just figure things have changed a teenie tiny bit overnight but it ain't so bad....
When in fact, we're some of the only "red pilliars" (pun not intended, but pretty damned good if I do say so myself...) of society who recognize.


And even more scarily.
TPTB recognize it, too or else all the things being done like the stuff AJ told us about years ago, come true, the bullets, the laws, the loss of due process, the wholesale theft by the oligarchs...
It's all true and happening right here in River City, my friend.

They know all too well.
That's why the Propaganda Mechanism touts the lies it does.
As Lord Snowden said just the other day on his Ch4 world address; "It's worse than 1984"

They know and are afraid.

To paraphrase the Book of James "Even demons fear God and shudder"  Well, seems as though the TBTB fear the future and shudder....

Hmmmm... a play of good and evil of Veritable Biblical Proportions unfolds before our Very Eyes

OutLookingIn's picture

Just like John said; 

Just sitting here, watching the wheels go round.

I really like to watch them roll. Until they fall off! Not long now!


Dick Buttkiss's picture

If you like your fiat dollars, you can keep your fiat dollars.

For everyone else, there's . . .


Race Car Driver's picture

"Oh, look honey, there's one of them Bitcoin bums. Should we stop?"

"Keep driving, dear."

Dick Buttkiss's picture

No fiat currency has ever stood the test of time, the average being less than 30 years — — which is well beyond the more than 40 years that the Federal Reserve Note has been pure fiat. 

It's fate is assured, in other words, while that of Bitcoin (or an improvement thereon) is not, and in fact shows great promise.

So along with gold and silver, one should hedge one's bets with the knowledge that, whether physical or digital, money will at long ast be extracted from the clutches of government and returned to the people, where it belongs.

caShOnlY's picture

"The state now owes me $1,400 for eight weeks of unemployment"

Need we say anymore?

Sudden Debt's picture

exactly... how do you survive for 8 weeks on 1400$....

how is it possible that anybody doesnmt has savigs to bridge 8 weeks...

what about saving 50% of your salary. and of you can't... well that's also a simple one: look for a better job.


Well, for example:

I was walking on the Christmas fair and there where all these young people who build a drinking stand, food stand, ... about 175 stands. fantastic.

All making money. And the investment cost? A few hundred bucks to start.
Business was booming and half of the people was drunk and ate to much.

So why do you still hear that "there are no jobs"? Create one god damned!

The problem is, that people don't want to start small. They think taht when you start a business you need a big car and at least 5 employees and they don't have the money for it...

but all the big businesses started small, And not every business needs to become a multi million/billion thing. Not everything needs to be facebook or Amazon.

I don't believe in unemployment. I only believe in lazyness.

Popo's picture

While what you say is mostly true, and I agree with you -- it's also true that the State prevents people from just setting up shop and selling things. These things require licenses, permits, fees, etc. If the State wants to help they should get out of the way entirely when it comes to a person's basic right to open a small business enterprise.

In many countries (particularly in Asia and Latin America), there are food stalls everywhere because the government does not attempt to regulate this 'most basic' business. It is seen as a natural right. In the US, selling homemade food, wares, crafts, etc, on the street exists only in the most limited fashion at randomly scheduled places and times.

The government needs to deregulate the bottom of the business food chain and let people help themselves.

ronaldawg's picture

An enterprising soul can do what the ever enterprising illegal immigrants (12 million plus) do - as soon as the government arrives, pick up shop and move somewhere else and start again - eventually you get so good at creating a business you can navigate the red-tape that the bureaucratic left has set up for us all.

Richard Chesler's picture

The government needs to deregulate the bottom of the business food chain and let people help themselves.

You're in for a surprise.

UH-60 Driver's picture

Since you mentioned fiat dollars...

Did anyone see Mothman vs Godzilla?  Who yuan?  ror...

I hold a lot of fiat dollars, and an asswackton of euro too.  I carry and need both every damn day of my life to exist comfortably.  I have a bunch of gold and silver in my safe doing nothing...  fiat seems to be working.

What we need here is a catalyst...  anyone have an idea?

ETA:  Yes I know yuan is the money of China, but I could not think of another way to mention a different fiat money...Yen...there...I did it!  I metioned four different types of fiat money.  Too funny, kinda like "funny money"?  Does that count as five?  Okay, I feel like I am pounding (sterling) a dead horse.  (That's six now.)

Good night.

LetThemEatRand's picture

"All of this idiocy, inefficiency, callousness and plain old evil, is the State at work."

Merger of the State and large corporations.  Our governor (Rick Scott) made hundreds of millions in Columbia/HCA, from which he resigned in disgrace after the company was found to have been bilking Medicare/Medicaid.   And by "resign in disgrace" I mean he resigned and was paid several hundred million dollars between a "settlement" and stock options.  The company pleaded guilty to several felonies, but Rick Scott "somehow" escaped blame and became our esteemed governor.   

I need Another Beer's picture

I know that feeling, here in Ga we have 2 Democrat Senators and a Demo Guv. There is no way I can vote for the slime[they claim to be Repubslimes].

I now only support the Convention of the States and Libertarians[ and always the "NRA"].

I have given up on both parties since they are realy one.

All my family live in Fl and they have no clue how they have been used, but, its hard to feel sorry for STUPID people.

I am so depressed, I am thinking about whiskey more than beer

Jumbotron's picture

As a Florida resident since 1994 I can say this with some authority.  Just like Obamacare....this was a planned screw-up.  Rick Scott ran as a Republican with a libertarian bent.  But he's just another Ayn Randian who looks at people as fodder for the Crony Capitalist machine.  And on top of that he gives Libertarians a bad name simply because he is incompetent. the way....he's also a crook.  No suprise there.  Most Ayn Randians either are or turn out to most are psychopaths like Rand herself.  Alan Greenspan comes to mind.  Scott was thrown out of the company he ran, Columbia/HCA when it came to light they had defrauded Medicaid to the tune of nearly 2 billion dollars.  But of course as happens with most Crony Capitalists he got a nice 10 million dollar severence package....on top of stock options worth 300 million.....and if you can believe this....a 1 million dollar a year "consulting" contract.


So in similar fashion to John Kerry......Scott was defrauding Medicaid before he became an advocate in destroying it. most Randian crooks do after they are disgraced from the private sector......they go into politics.

Rick Scott is Florida's George W. Bush.  The problem going forward is....he is setting up for his defeat at the hands of former Republican governor of Florida now Obamanite Charlie Crist.

But hey....the people of Florida voted Scott in......they deserved what they got.  And they will just as deservingly get Charlie Crist back in under another banner.

ronaldawg's picture

Jumbotron off his meds again - a total complete utter fool.

jcaz's picture

Charlie ain't coming back- his boy-toy gets too much publicity these days.....

the0ther's picture

And Rick Scott looks like a human snake hybrid. Wish a giant eagle would swoop down and devour that POS.

Anusocracy's picture

Voting, the mainstay of idiocracy.

Mugatu's picture

I wanna know when ZH will send me my residual check for use of this clip!

taketheredpill's picture


Assuming they use same methodology to calculate State Unemployment rate as National (given up looking for work=not part of labor force=Unemployment rate falls) then number of weeks of Benefits available should drop to Zero around the time the last person in the State (not working for Government) loses their job.


JustObserving's picture

Florida, not coincidentally, is shaped like a penis for a reason.

nmewn's picture

Always wondered why Key West appeared that way.

Thanks! ;-)

lakecity55's picture

Now we know why such a gay crowd loves the Keys.......

Miss Expectations's picture

--->Florida shaped like a penis

--->Manhattan shaped like a penis

Anusocracy's picture

---> Back of B. Frank's mouth shaped like a penis.

---> B. Bernanke is a penis.

SolarSystem1932's picture

Check a larger map. Florida is a weapon of another type. More like a ruger.

"Welcome to the gunshine state".

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

I have that t-shirt!

"We don't dial 9-1-1"

James's picture

The correct pronunciation of Florida is actually Fraudida.

We have more Floridiots per sq. mile than anywhere else.

When visiting our State and talking to the locals the term Floriduh applies.

The guy who made "No Tresspassing" signs went bankrupt. However, the guy who makes "We don't call 911"signs is doing quite well.

I truly believe that crooked politicians get their training at a hotel conference room in Boca Raton.

GeezerGeek's picture

"We have more Floridiots..."

Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (Ditsy When-Speaking) resembles that. Democrat, Florida. And the geezers in her district helped vote her back into Congress despite the major cuts to Medicare.  

Ignatius's picture

File under "I'm gonna piss on ya and tell ya it's raining."

ISEEIT's picture

"If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?"

The future was foretold, often in fairytales, later in novels, stories, films.

Now as 'news'.


Shad_ow's picture

The government isn't running out of entitlement funds, you just can't access them.   Brilliant I tell  you, brilliant. 

Healthcare will cost less after all.

FredFlintstone's picture

What IS keeping all of this detritus afloat? The Fed can only be doing so much.

UH-60 Driver's picture

Holy Sheet!  Time to move to Germany...  I've been here now for four months enjoying a lot of good beer.  I planned on moving back to my home state of Alaska, but that area looks like it will be off limits for the next 60 years.  Can anyone recommend a good geiger counter?

lakecity55's picture

Stay in Germany.

There are bound to be lots of bomb shelters left from the Cold War and WW2.

666's picture

Unemployment statistics can be ignored because the gubmint says the economy is doing great and the recovery is well under way, right?


Boy, it's getting harder and harder to write sarcasm like that without wetting my pants.