Sep 01 2011

Weekly Unemployment Numbers Flat Or Worse

Published by at 8:31 am under 2012 Elections,Measuring The Recovery

No surprise in the latest CNN poll numbers on the President’s handling of the economy:

Only a third of all Americans approve of how President Barack Obama is handling the economy, according to a new national survey. And with a CNN/ORC International Poll also indicating that more than three-quarters of the public say the country is in bad shape right now, there’s little wonder why the president is getting such low marks.

65% disapprove of the President’s job on the economy, and it looks like under 25% are the only ones happy with where the country is at.

That is because there is no sign of economic growth out there in the workforce. As we have seen for months on end the liberals’ lame stimulus bill did nothing but pile up massive debt on our children and grandchildren. It did not create economic growth.

The unemployment level appears flat only because the workforce is shrinking as millions of able Americans give up hope of a real career style job. For months (here, here, here and here) I have shown how the stable U3 unemployment number is a sad fiction, that when you adjust for where the workforce should be right now based on population and historic trends, the unemployment is in the 10.5+% range. Here is the July graph as an example:

Click to enlarge. The adjusted U3 unemployment for July, based on a nominal workforce size (the red line) was 10.7% – and rising. We see the same basic pattern going back for months now (follow the links above, stretching back to February 2011). Which means this is not an aberration for one month but a harsh reality that has been dogging us all year long.

This week’s unemployment report is one more in a seemingly endless chain of weekly reports showing a stagnant, barely above-water economy. In fact, I could argue that we are slowly sinking since the workforce keeps shrinking, making all these DoL statistics look flat when they aren’t. This week’s first time claims are down, but only after last week’s claims were adjusted way up (from 5,000 new claims to 9,000 new claims). In terms of first time claims (the myopic focus of pundits and the media) – it looks to be a wash.

But dig deeper (or just scroll down the page) and the picture gets much darker. From August 6 to August 13 (one bloody week) the number of people on some form of unemployment shot up by 45,531. One week! Imagine if that went on for any number of weeks?

Worse yet, the number on EUC – the last vestige of the unemployed (and thus filled with the long term unemployed) – we see the total rise by 31,261 to a mind boggling 3,118,042 people who are now unemployed for many, many months. DoL states the total number of people on any form of unemployment support is 7,336,276. That means 42% of those on unemployment have been there a long, long time.

My guess is the August unemployment numbers are going to be bad again, and under reported again since the DoL is not going to fix its formula any time soon. I also predict the economic numbers for the 3rd quarter, which just ended yesterday, will not be that good. The federal government is strangling small business into oblivion with pointless mandates and regulations (see here for one idiotic example) and screwed up government take overs (a.k.a. Obamacare).

Now we patiently and nervously wait for 2012 and change that we can count on. The only question now is how many more will be hurt before we can turn this ship away from liberal fantasy land (and all the real pain that comes with it).

Update: Hot Air notices that finally, months into this disaster, the liberal news outlets dropped ‘unexpectedly’ and went with ‘expected’. At least for now!

9 responses so far

9 Responses to “Weekly Unemployment Numbers Flat Or Worse”

  1. WWS says:

    rumours are floating around that Obama is going to announce a major shakeup of the mortgage market in his speech, one that would pump another $1 trillion into the financial system. This could be why he is so desperate to hold a joint session of Congress.

    The rumours are coming from sources that seem to have all the right Washington connections, and Obama’s team is desperate enough to know they have to try something big. What’s more, it seems as if the kind of things being talked about can be implemented without Congressional approval, which makes the plan much more likely.

    Wait and see – maybe nothing much will happen. But remember the Battle of the Bulge, 1944 – your enemy is always at his most dangerous when you think he’s on the ropes and you’ve got the thing won. I lean towards those who think something big is on the way – we’ll have to wait til next Thursday to see just what it is.

  2. lurker9876 says:

    Mortgage reform by fiat? And where will they get the money? Does Wall Street support this?

  3. lurker9876 says:

    Why unemployment is about to surge from zerohedge (Lance Roberts):

  4. lurker9876 says:

    Sounds like an expansion of CRA…..more toxic NINFA loans.

  5. WWS says:

    “where will they get the money?”

    If they follow this plan, they will simply create it out of thin air by having the Federal Reserve buy obligations directly from Fannie Mae.
    How it would work is that government would guarantee all refi’s at a low rate, and do away with the need for qualifying that is holding back refi’s now. The major banks would create a new $1 trilion worth of refi loans backed by Fannie Mae, and the Federal Reserve would buy them all at face value. The Federal Reserve, of course, has the power to create money simply by moving the decimal point on their checking account. They don’t even have to bother with the trouble of physically printing it anymore. Net result – most homeowners have radically lower interest rates, and an extra $1 trillion is pumped into the financial system. Stocks soar – but so do commodities.

    Yes, the Fed Reserve has the power to do that without asking any permission from Congress and Ben Bernanke has expressed a willingness to do something like this.

    Gold is going to $3,000/oz if they do this, of course. And it actually screws the banking system in the long term. But it could look good in the short term.

  6. lurker9876 says:

    Oh my gosh! So they will approve equity loans…multiple equity loans per house ownership.

    That is going to drive inflation even more and that’s before QE3.

  7. WWS says:

    meanwhile, check out Solyndra. $500 million of Stimulus money for green jobs – All Gone! Poof! Just like that!

    I finally know what Green Jobs are, at least. Green Jobs are to Real Jobs what Unicorns are to Horses.

  8. archtop says:

    WWS says:
    September 1, 2011 at 11:13 pm

    “meanwhile, check out Solyndra. $500 million of Stimulus money for green jobs All Gone! Poof! Just like that!”

    Hold it! The money didn’t go poof. It went somewhere. The question is WHO got the money. And it has only been a year or so since they received that money. How could a small/medium size business burn through half a billion dollars in a year?? Something doesn’t sound right, though I wouldn’t rule out incompetent management…

    OK…after some research…here’s the answer:

    Solyndra faces layoffs despite stimulus loan
    Wednesday, November 03, 2010.

    FREMONT, Calif. (KGO) — New competition from China is causing layoffs at Fremont’s Solyndra, a solar panel maker that received a stimulus loan last year to build a new factory.
    Solyndra’s shiny new plant cost $733 million — $535 million came from federal funds. Only $198 million is for private financing, so the government’s stake is 73 percent.

    According to a filing by Solyndra with the Securities and Exchange Commission, if it were to default on the $535 million loan, the Dept. of Energy would end up owning that brand new fabrication plant as well as the land underneath.

    Public records show that about $402 million of the loan proceeds have been dispersed. The lion’s share, $262 million went to the contractor and smaller amounts to a design firm, a developer and to the county for taxes. So a lot of public money is riding on Solyndra to succeed.

    Note that a good part of the money went to pay California taxes! So part of the Solyndra loan was just a payoff to California’s government from the federal government (i.e. you and me).

  9. lurker9876 says:

    So ZERO jobs created for August after 117,000 new jobs in July.

    Unemployment 9.1
    Underemployment 16.2

    Ya think Obama’s new jobs plan will do it?


    Archtop, if most of the money went to CA, sure didn’t help, didn’t it? CA’s future is a collapse.

    Remember when Glenn Beck and the economists say what happens when CA collapses? It’s the 8th largest in the country or the world….maybe it no longer IS!