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Thu Aug 2, 2012, 08:32 AM

ETA News Release: Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report (08/02/2012)

Source: Department of Labor, Employment and Training Admin



In the week ending July 28 the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 365,000, an increase of 8,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 357,000. The 4-week moving average was 365,500, a decrease of 2,750 from the previous week's revised average of 368,250.

The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.6 percent for the week ending July 21, unchanged from the prior week's unrevised rate.

The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending July 21 was 3,272,000, a decrease of 19,000 from the preceding week's revised level of 3,291,000. The 4-week moving average was 3,298,500, a decrease of 11,500 from the preceding week's revised average of 3,310,000.


The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 310,492 in the week ending July 28, a decrease of 30,083 from the previous week. There were 341,103 initial claims in the comparable week in 2011.

Read more: http://www.dol.gov/opa/media/press/eta/ui/eta20121540.htm

Good morning, Freepers and DUers alike. It is time once again for the weekly unemployment insurance initial claims report.

Here for your viewing pleasure are this week's data, brought to you as a nonpartisan public service. This is just one example of the good work your civil servants are performing for you.

The number is up this week, not by much, but up nonetheless.

I can't recall when I started posting the number every week, but this has probably been going on for at least a year. I seriously do not care if the week's data make Obama look good, or Romney look good, or Chairman Mao look good, or anybody else. They are just numbers, and I post them without regard to the consequences.

You will also note that I welcome people from Free Republic to examine the numbers as well. They paid for the work just as much as members of DU did, so I invite them to come on over and have a look. "The more the merrier" is the way I look at it.

I do not work at the ETA, and I do not know anyone working in that agency. I'm sure I can safely assume that the numbers are gathered and analyzed by career civil servant economists who do their work on a nonpartisan basis. Numbers are numbers, and let the chips fall where they may. If you feel that these economists are falling down on the job, drop them a line or give them a call. They work for you, not for any politician or political party. Maybe they're all voting for Romney. That's up to them.

The word "initial" is important. The report does not count all claims, just the new ones filed this week.

Note: The seasonal adjustment factors used for the UI Weekly Claims data from 2007 forward, along with the resulting seasonally adjusted values for initial claims and continuing claims, have been revised. These revised historical values, as well as the seasonal adjustment factors that will be used through calendar year 2012, can be accessed at the bottom of the following link: http://www.oui.doleta.gov/press/2012/032911.asp

That's a bad link right now. It has been bad for about a month and a half, too. Try:


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Reply ETA News Release: Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report (08/02/2012) (Original post)
mahatmakanejeeves Aug 2012 OP
WI_DEM Aug 2012 #1
JDPriestly Aug 2012 #2

Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 09:19 AM

1. I'm hoping that tomorrow's numbers won't be horrible and that we will have

at least 125,000 new jobs. Anything under 100,000 will look really bad.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 01:35 PM

2. I have a wierd theory. Just landed in my brain as I was waking up this

morning so it may or may not be worth anything, may or may not have any basis in reality.

Bernanke (and I use the names of individuals to represent their authority and their responsibilities and not to suggest that they alone made these decisions) is an expert on the Great Depression. He was appointed to the Fed at just about the time that it must have become obvious to our best economists and banking experts that something very troubling was, once again, happening in our economy.

We had never really recovered from the dot.com boom/bust cycle, and the construction/housing boom had not increased wages and profits sufficiently to keep the economy going.

So, Bernanke was appointed. I think that he and Geithner and Holder know very well that our current economic bust is the result of an epidemic of fraud throughout several sectors of our economy including mortgages and the rest of the financial markets. I think they know very well that the banks are insolvent and running strictly on hope and the greedy swallowing of imaginary profits.

I think that Bernanke had a theory that Hoover and then Roosevelt had prolonged the Depression into a Great Depression by allowing the banks to fail and then shoring up the economy to a sustainable level by supporting the public sector and letting the private sector deteriorate.

So Bernanke decided to do the opposite. Let the public sector deteriorate and boost the private sector. That is what has happened. That is what our economic doctors have engineered (in my opinion at this point).

Has Bernanke's theory succeeded? He (and his friends) probably look with pride at the unemployment rates which have, this depression, officially never reached the 20-some percent that they reached in the Great Depression. I think, however, that the numbers are misleading if not simply lies.

Unemployment is higher than official statistics show. Here in S. California, we see that a large number of immigrants have left presumably because their jobs are gone. Lots of women have left the workforce or (in my family) not entered it. Lots of students have stayed in school or graduate and just get occasional work. We have people with BAs working as full-time or part-time nannies. So the unemployment figures we get are deceptively low.

They probably also think that they have succeeded because we don't have bread lines. Well, at least not in their neighborhoods. We have many, many homeless in Los Angeles. And they are present in middle class neighborhoods (perhaps because these are the neighborhoods in which they lived before they were homeless) in greater numbers than in previous times. (As one who worked for years on a homeless project and lived in this same neighborhood, I think I can speak with some authority on this although I don't have figures.)

Bread lines? We have an incredible demand for food stamps at the moment. That's because people either aren't working at all or don't earn enough from their work to buy food without assistance. In the 1930s that translated into bread lines. Food stamps don't provide pathetic images, but they reflect just as much need. And I wonder whether we have more hungry children (without food stamps) than we did in the 1930s when a larger percentage of the population lived on farms and could grow food.

As for seniors, in spite of the fact that we can't get full Social Security benefits at 65, many, many, many of us have been forced into early retirement and have claimed what benefits we can get just to stay alive. And those with pensions and those who are dependent on Social Security are being made to feel guilty just for being alive and needing the pittances they receive from those programs. And remember, we seniors set aside through contributions to those programs the money during our productive, working lives that we are now supposed to be able to rely on in good conscience.

My thesis is that Bernanke has tried to outsmart Roosevelt and that is why he kept the banks going in spite of the endemic fraud and waste.

That is why Obama so proudly proclaims that the private sector is doing fine. Roosevelt held our economy together in bad times by punishing those whose greed and excesses caused the economic crisis. Bernanke is trying to hold our economy together by rewarding them. Roosevelt employed people by providing government jobs. Bernanke is trying to force the private sector to work harder and do more by starving the public sector. It isn't by any means that simple. And Bernanke has not had the clear-cut choices that I am positing since he does not have almighty power.

But I have tried to understand just why the Obama administration has never punished the fools on Wall Street who got us into this mess when the crimes are so obvious. I have also wondered why we haven't seen many more WPA programs and instead have watched as government employees have been made the scapegoats for the depression.

It seems that those who didn't do their jobs well have been rewarded with millions in bonuses, and those loyal public employees -- teachers and nurses and others -- who didn't ask for that much and gave so generously of themselves have been required to take the losses.

Strikes me as some game that Bernanke is playing, some cruel theory he is testing.

Please let me know what you think. This is just a theory that I woke up with.

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