Initial Claims Print Unchanged From Last Week's Upward Revised 351K

Tyler Durden's picture

Snooze of an update from the BLS, which reported that this week's initial claims printed at 351K, slightly better than expected at 355K, but offset by the now perpetual (thus statistically impossible) upward revision in prior week claims, which increased from 348K to 351K, so unchanged week over week. Next week this 351K will be revised to 354K so on top of expectations. That this is driven primarily by ongoing abnormally hot weather (remember the lamentations over last year's cold winter and how it was impacting data adversely - odd how we continue to hear nothing about the opposite phenomenon) is largely ignored. Instead what we will hear is how claims printed at the lowest in 4 years (chart 1). And yet we will hear nothing about how when one adds initial claims to continuing claims to extended benefits, we are just a little bit higher than 4 years ago (chart 2).

Chart 1 - 4 year low.

Chart 2 - not 4 year low.

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trav7777's picture

Vive le recoverie bitchez

Sanksion's picture

Vive la reprise. La crise est derrière nous.

redpill's picture

Of course next week, this week's number will be revised to 355k so it won't be a beat and is actually worse than last week, not flat.  Thanks BLS!

Clueless Economist's picture

Based on these wonderfully improving numbers, my Keynsian Calculator shows that President Obama has now created or saved 306 million jobs in his 3 years in office.

If only the stimulus was 5x as large, we would now be enjoying Full Employment.

P. Krugman

Economist/Nobel Prize Winner/NY Times Blogger/Professor/Ivy Leaguer/Genius/and All-Arround Douchebag

battle axe's picture

And how  many people have given up on looking for a job?

kralizec's picture

Keynesian calculator, bwuuuhaahaa! 

Hey, doesn't that run on the rare earth element Bullshitium?  Same stuff the BLS runs on I think...

Grinder74's picture

Actually, all the Bullshitium was mined during the Clinton administration.  The calculator had to be redesigned to run on unicorn farts (since cow farts are actually harmful to the environment).

Gully Foyle's picture

How is the U.S. economy doing in 2012?  Unfortunately, it is not doing nearly as well as the mainstream media would have you believe.  Yes, things have stabilized for the moment but this bubble of false hope will not last for long.  The long-term trends that are ripping our economy and our financial system to shreds continue unabated.  When you step back and look at the broader picture, it is hard to deny that we are in really bad shape and that things are rapidly getting worse.  Later on in this article you will find a list of interesting facts that show the true state of the U.S. economy.  Hopefully many of you will find this list to be a useful tool that you can share with your family and friends.  Each day the foundations of our economy crumble a little bit more, and we need to wake up as many Americans as we can to what is really going on while there is still time.  We have accumulated way too much debt, we consume far more wealth than we produce, millions of our jobs are being shipped overseas, our big cities are decaying, family budgets are being squeezed more than ever, poverty is rampant and we have raised several generations of Americans that expect the government to fix all of their problems.  The U.S. economy is at a crossroads, and the decisions that the American people make in 2012 are going to be incredibly important.

The statistics listed below are presented without much commentary.  They pretty much speak for themselves.

After reading this list, it will be hard for anyone to argue that we are on the right track.

The following are 55 interesting facts about the U.S. economy in 2012....

#1 As you read this, there are more than 6 million mortgages in the United States that are overdue.

#2 In January, U.S. home prices were the lowest that they have been in more than a decade.

#3 In Florida right now, some drivers are paying nearly 6 dollars for a gallon of gas.

#4 On average, you could buy about 10 gallons of gas for an hour of work back in the mid-90s.  Today, the average hour of work will get you less than 6 gallons of gas.

#5 Sadly, 43 percent of all American families spend more than they earn each year.

#6 According to Gallup, the unemployment rate was at 8.3% in mid-January but rose to 9.0% in mid-February.

#7 The percentage of working age Americans that have jobs is not increasing.  The employment to population ratio has stayed very steady (hovering between 58% and 59%) since the beginning of 2010.

#8 If you gathered together all of the workers that are "officially" unemployed in the United States into one nation, they would constitute the 68th largest country in the entire world.

#9 When Barack Obama first took office, the number of "long-term unemployed workers" in the United States was approximately 2.6 million.  Today, that number is sitting at 5.6 million.

#10 The average duration of unemployment in the United States is hovering close to an all-time record high.

#11 According to Reuters, approximately 23.7 million American workers are either unemployed or underemployed right now.

#12 There are about 88 million working age Americans that are not employed and that are not looking for employment.  That is an all-time record high.

#13 According to CareerBuilder, only 23 percent of American companies plan to hire more employees in 2012.

#14 Back in the year 2000, about 20 percent of all jobs in America were manufacturing jobs.  Today, about 5 percent of all jobs in America are manufacturing jobs.

#15 The United States has lost an average of approximately 50,000 manufacturing jobs a month since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.

#16 Amazingly, more than 56,000 manufacturing facilities in the United States have been shut down since 2001.

#17 According to author Paul Osterman, about 20 percent of all U.S. adults are currently working jobs that pay poverty-level wages.

#18 During the Obama administration, worker health insurance costs have risen by 23 percent.

#19 An all-time record 49.9 million Americans do not have any health insurance at all at this point, and the percentage of Americans covered by employer-based health plans has fallen for 11 years in a row.

#20 According to the New York Times, approximately 100 million Americans are either living in poverty or in "the fretful zone just above it".

#21 In the United States today, corporate profits are at an all-time high.  The percentage of Americans that are living in "extreme poverty" is also at an all-time high according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

#22 In the United States today, the wealthiest one percent of all Americans have a greater net worth than the bottom 90 percent combined.

#23 The poorest 50 percent of all Americans now collectively own just 2.5% of all the wealth in the United States.

#24 The number of children living in poverty in the state of California has increased by 30 percent since 2007.

#25 According to the National Center for Children in Poverty, 36.4% of all children that live in Philadelphia are living in poverty, 40.1% of all children that live in Atlanta are living in poverty, 52.6% of all children that live in Cleveland are living in poverty and 53.6% of all children that live in Detroit are living in poverty.

#26 Since Barack Obama entered the White House, the number of Americans on food stamps has increased from 32 million to 46 million.

#27 As the economy has slowed down, so has the number of marriages.  According to a Pew Research Center analysis, only 51 percent of all Americans that are at least 18 years old are currently married.  Back in 1960, 72 percent of all U.S. adults were married.

#28 In 1984, the median net worth of households led by someone 65 or older was 10 times larger than the median net worth of households led by someone 35 or younger.  Today, the median net worth of households led by someone 65 or older is 47 times larger than the median net worth of households led by someone 35 or younger.

#29 If you can believe it, 37 percent of all U.S. households that are led by someone under the age of 35 have a net worth of zero or less than zero.

#30 After adjusting for inflation, U.S. college students are borrowing about twice as much money as they did a decade ago.

#31 According to the Student Loan Debt Clock, total student loan debt in the United States will surpass the 1 trillion dollar mark at some point in 2012.  If you went out right now and starting spending one dollar every single second, it would take you more than 31,000 years to spend one trillion dollars.

#32 Today, 46% of all Americans carry a credit card balance from month to month.

#33 Incredibly, one out of every seven Americans has at least 10 credit cards.

#34 The average interest rate on a credit card that is carrying a balance is now up to 13.10 percent.

#35 Of the U.S. households that do have credit card debt, the average amount of credit card debt is an astounding $15,799.

#36 Overall, Americans are carrying a grand total of $798 billion in credit card debt.  If you were alive when Jesus was born and you spent a million dollars every single day since then, you still would not have spent $798 billion by now.

#37 It may be hard to believe, but the truth is that consumer debt in America has increased by a whopping 1700% since 1971.

#38 At this point, about 70 percent of all auto purchases in the United States involve an auto loan.

#39 In the United States today, 45 percent of all auto loans are made to subprime borrowers.

#40 Mortgage debt as a percentage of GDP has more than tripled since 1955.

#41 According to a recent study conducted by the BlackRock Investment Institute, the ratio of household debt to personal income in the United States is now 154 percent.

#42 To get the same purchasing power that you got out of $20.00 back in 1970 you would have to have more than $116 today.

#43 When Barack Obama first took office, an ounce of gold was going for about $850.  Today an ounce of gold costs more than $1700 an ounce.

#44 The number of Americans that are not paying federal incomes taxes is at an all-time high.

#45 A staggering 48.5% of all Americans live in a household that receives some form of government benefits.  Back in 1983, that number was below 30 percent.

#46 The amount of money that the federal government gives directly to Americans has increased by 32 percent since Barack Obama entered the White House.

#47 During 2012, the U.S. government must roll over nearly 3 trillion dollars of old debt.

#48 The U.S. debt to GDP ratio has now reached 101 percent.

#49 At the moment, the U.S. national debt is sitting at a grand total of $15,419,800,222,325.15.

#50 The U.S. national debt is now more than 22 times larger than it was when Jimmy Carter became president.

#51 During the Obama administration, the U.S. government has accumulated more debt than it did from the time that George Washington took office to the time that Bill Clinton took office.

#52 If the federal government began right at this moment to repay the U.S. national debt at a rate of one dollar per second, it would take over 440,000 years to pay off the national debt.

#53 If Bill Gates gave every single penny of his fortune to the U.S. government, it would only cover the U.S. budget deficit for about 15 days.

#54 Right now, the U.S. national debt is increasing by about 150 million dollars every single hour.

#55 Spending by the federal government accounted for about 2 percent of GDP back in 1800.  It accounted for 23.8 percent in 2011, and according to former U.S. Comptroller General David M. Walker, it will account for 36.8 percent of GDP by 2040.


Bad news, eh?

But it isn't just our economy that is decaying.

We are witnessing a tremendous amount of social decay as well.  As I wrote about the other day, America is rapidly decomposing right in front of our eyes.

When the water level of a river drops far enough, it will reveal rocks that have been hidden from view for a very long time.  Well, a similar thing is happening in America right now.  For decades, our debt-fueled prosperity has masked a lot of the social decay that has been going on.

But now that our prosperity is evaporating, a lot of frightening stuff is being revealed.

Unfortunately, another major financial crisis is rapidly approaching and economic conditions in the United States are going to get a lot worse.

So what is our country going to look like when that happens?

That is a very good question.

Moneyswirth's picture

Yeah, but who's winning the next American Idol??  That's what most of us lazy slobs want to know....

Shizzmoney's picture

The Bread and Circuses of our day are just so lame.  Everytime I hear the women at my job talk about this, I want to hang myself with a noose (made in USA!).

At least I can bet on football.  And at least those in Rome when they were entertained, got to see some guy get mauled by a tiger.

Now all I get is to see a singing contest between a cowboy, and some gay dude.


JohnKozac's picture

Balloon Boy reruns will probably play for only 8 hours CNN said, instead of the full 12 hour suspense.  That should keep most people busy for awhile.

Id fight Gandhi's picture

It'll be under 300k by spring! Doesnt mean any jobs are created. Just better numbers to brag about.

Shibumi2's picture

I wonder how many people are employed creating and revising this bullshit.



Jason T's picture

Productcivity is getting close to zero.. they'll have to hire to keeo up with consumer demand funded by Ben Confetti from Washington.

papaswamp's picture

Lags Gallup poll which is showing an increase in unemployment and a spike in underemployment (U-6).

The key again will be participation rate and employment to population ratio which continues to show a rapid decline.

WoodMizer's picture

What happened to the dismal employment Gallup suggested for Februrary?

Did they fudge the numbers again?

Is there no more wiggle room to make things look positive?

It's all Greek to me. 

monopoly's picture

Remember, we have an election year. So, most data will be good. That is the law of the land. After all, this is America.

SeverinSlade's picture

Precisely.  And just as the US closes in on yet another debt ceiling breach, war with Iran and/or Syria will be announced.  Comrade Obuma will blame the "sudden" economic downturn (thanks to $5-6+ gas) on the war and will also be able to spin the negative headline of breaching the debt ceiling as a positive, as it's a matter of national security to go into more debt to pay for another war WE started.

Moneyswirth's picture

Wait, Obamao has ties to Halliburton too?? Crikey...

Mae Kadoodie's picture

Humans get squishy and melty in warm weather.

SeverinSlade's picture

How funny would that be if the BLS accidentally screwed up their calculations and keyed in a labor participation rate of sub-50% and a negative UI rate flashed on CNBS.  Wonder how that would be spun.

warren.buffett's picture

Funny how zero hedge sheeple convention also

i) doesn't mention when the data is modified towards positive

ii) posted a thousand blogs about how S&P earnings will underperform estimates, yet not a peep about the fact that S&P earnings are above estimates


SeverinSlade's picture

Really?  I've been seeing a lot of revenue beats and EPS misses, paired with dismal guidance (or no guidance at all).

Conman's picture

Funny that

1. isnt all data modified towards positive?

2. we have cnbc out there to be cheerleaders, no point in puttin on the pom poms and short skirt.

Moneyswirth's picture

Please refrain from watching CNBC for market "news".  It's bad for the brain.

monopoly's picture

And those that do beat. Is it because of insatiable demand or the fact that they have fired so many employees and continue to harvest profits from the backs of those that are no longer employed?

i love cholas's picture

I agree. I love ZeroHedge but sometimes you have to stop being such a Negative Nancy. And yes, ZH has its fair share of sheeple on here

101 years and counting's picture

tax withholdings, 2012 YTD vs 2011 YTD.  Up .07%.  And we've added how many jobs?  This doesnt even cover wage increases YoY. 

anyways....enjoy.  have a beer and a good laugh:

spastic_colon's picture

so the fact that "only" 351,000 people filed "first time" claims means jobs are being created?  The new math is funny.

lizzy36's picture

Seasonal adjustment factors at this time of year.

2011 unadjusted claims for this week:380,995

2012 unajusted claims for this week: 345,216

Literally weather can be "blamed" for some of this difference, as in February 2011, the US had freezing weather and numerous storms that shut down parts of the country. This year it is very mild.

If this trend continues in may, then we may have something. But the seasonal distoration for first ten weeks in 2010, 2011 look exactly the same as 2012 does.

ljag's picture

Heard Cramer say the warm weather has hindered retail sales of expensive heavy coats and jackets..........seriously. It was about a month or so ago during that 'speed comment' section before the 'Opening Bell'.

thedrickster's picture

Lies-man sees a trend. Lies-man is awfully trufy.

cnhedge's picture

the disappointment is still not coming, US data continues to be OK and this is bad for QE3 expectation.

boatwhiskers's picture

Upward weekly revisions perpetual, yet statistically impossible?

Oh it's possible.

Fuckin liars.

The Alarmist's picture

If they have to keep adjusting in the same direction most to all of the time, their model is misspecified, i.e. broke, and should not be relied upon ... and yet it is without a peep about this anomoly from the serious financial media.

proLiberty's picture

Given the unemployment to disability crossover, we ought to also track the weekly claims for disability. 

Alex Kintner's picture

**Shot Girls Needed** for Saint Patties Day. Expect a massive drop in claims in March. Email me for private interview (include pic).

Conchy Joe's picture

So they make up a number and when the real number is less that is good? Didn't they just show that they can't estimate well?

" Hey I was expecting 5 employees to spontaneously combust last week, but only 3 did - so great news!"

Snakeeyes's picture

As long as we ignore people dropping out of the labor force, these numbers are like an episode of "Survivor."

Initial Jobless Claims Flat, Non-employment Ratio Still at 41.5%

Shizzmoney's picture

This is where mainstream liberals and I, part. 

Those in the MSM who just continually buy into the kool aid that things are getting better really don't acknowledge the big picture.

Oil prices going up are going to KILL summer business.  And the jobs that people are getting (while better than 08-09), no where keep up with the inflation of the "real" economy 99% of us live in.

In short, its a bunch of fist pumping by guys with calculators and typewriters for scoring a touchdown, despite being down 42-14, in the 4th quarter.

The Alarmist's picture

The MSM talks to members of the political elite and the SES, all of whom are very engaged in the revolving door between government jobs, think tanks, lobbying firms, and big business. For these types, things have never been better, so one can forgive their bias, if one is willing to note that they are purveyors of fiction rather than news.