Weekly Unemployment Numbers: An Exercise in Futility

By Donald Sears  |  Posted 2009-06-26 Print this article Print

Want a break from the recession? Me too.

How about the Department of Labor take a few weeks off and report on these things a whole lot less frequently, because this careers blogger is getting tired of having to report the crap-tastic news every week. That would be awesome.

But, no, Wall Street and economy watchers want any morsel of positive news that can be squeezed out of these reports. I don't see much here that is positive. I feel like Jeff Bridges character 'The Dude' in the Coen brothers movie The Big Lebowski.

"That's a bummer man."

Yeh, Sears, we know.

The facts: More people than expected joined the ranks of needing some coin for the weeks ending June 20 and June 13--more than what some analysts expected.

It seems they forgot about the fact that school was ending and some teachers who were given pink slips earlier this year are jumping in the government pool of unemployment insurance, along with other folks recently laid off.

Here's the scoop from the DOL site:

In the week ending June 20, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 627,000, an increase of 15,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 612,000. The 4-week moving average was 617,250, an increase of 500 from the previous week's revised average of 616,750.

The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 5.0 percent for the week ending June 13, unchanged from the prior week's unrevised rate of 5.0 percent.

The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending June 13 was 6,738,000, an increase of 29,000 from the preceding week's revised level of 6,709,000. The 4-week moving average was 6,759,750, a decrease of 3,250 from the preceding week's revised average of 6,763,000.

The fiscal year-to-date average for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment for all programs is 5.333 million.

Is there anything positive here? Well, a little. The Midwestern and Southern manufacturing states like Michigan, Ohio, North Carolina, Tennesse, Kentucky, Indiana saw fewer layoffs in automotive and manufacturing.

Woo hoo! Yeah! USA! USA!

Also, the U.S. beat Spain in international soccer this week 2-0, so that was cool.

[Disclosure: One link goes to the careers blog I write for with TheLadders]

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