When we discussed last week's intiial claims number we said, "In today's weekly dose of BS from the BLS, we get the previous week's massive beat of 401K revised to 405K, cutting the 410K estimate beat in half. But what is important is that the expectation for this week of 405K was once again "massively beaten" by a whopping 1K at 404K. Of course, next week this number will be revised to 408K meaning the consensus was missed but no robots will care." Sure enough, last week's beat was enough for 5 ES points. And even surer enough, we were spot on: last week's 404K "beat" was just revised to a 409K "miss." As for this week's soon to be revised upward number, it came at 403K, missing expectations of 400K, but sure enough, suddenly a "much better" number than last week's revised 409K. Just how dumb does the BLS think everyone is? The bottom line is that claims continue to be persistently higher than 400K, now something like 25 out of 26 weeks in a row, which means there is no hope for any NFP improvements in the future.What is curious is that there was a pronounced deterioration in Texas, New York and California, which all saw a spike in layoffs, by 4,644; 8,568 and 13,882 respectively, due to layoffs in the manufacturing, service, retail and transportation industries. Said otherwise, the recession continues. In other news, continuing claims printed at a soon to be upwardly revised 3,719K, up from an upwardly revised 3,694K and worse than expectations of 3,690K. Last, and as everyone knows by now, the cliff issue is hurting ever more people, with about 68K people dropping off EUCs and Extended Benefits, down 1.6 million from a year ago.