Data from the weekly unemployment claims have a chilling affect!
The Department of Labor unemployment data for the weeks of January 13th and the 20th contained some frightening numbers, but most everyone focused on the more positive seasonally adjusted numbers in the two reports.
Seasonally adjusted initial claims on the 13th showed a large, but manageable, increase of 35,000 after the two holiday-shortened weeks. For the week of the 20th the number declined by 37,000 reversing all the negatives from the previous week’s rise. And seasonally adjusted continuing claims actually showed a surprising improvement, dropping 248,000 on the 13th and another 26,000 on the 20th.
Seasonally adjusted claims fell to the low four-hundred thousands, which is viewed by some as good news.
But, the unadjusted numbers were disturbing, showing little gain from last year’s totals. On the 13th initial claims climbed nearly 192,000; a total of 770,413 individuals filing for unemployment compensation. And though 212,504 fewer people filed on the 20th, 550,594 people signed up for benefits. Seasonal adjustments may no longer be valid given the depth of this unprecedented and lingering recession.
Over half-a-million hard-working Americans are still being laid off across the U.S. each week in construction, transportation, retail and the manufacturing and service industries. Healthcare is one of only a couple areas that are still growing and increased by 36,000 in December.
So, where are the jobs, Mr. Speaker?
The new House Majority, in office for a whole two weeks, are trying to take credit for the improving economy. So is Senator Kyl, from Arizona, who asserted that the huge corporate profits for 2010 were the result of the tax extensions of four weeks ago. So with all this newfound wealth why aren’t they hiring?
What is amazing is how disconnected Republicans are from reality.
House Republicans had the audacity to name their uninspired repeal of the healthcare bill, “Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act.” As the previous majority they were responsible for the loss of over 8,000,000 jobs between 2000 and 2008. And, they would be hard pressed to find a single job loss as a result of the passage of the healthcare legislation. All 242 Republicans voted for repeal.
Jobs data over the last two weeks is unsettling and I could, if not so firmly anchored in reality, blame the recipients of the November 2nd elections.
But, honestly, the alarming changes over the last two weeks have nothing to do with the election. No matter who tries to take credit or assign blame, the numbers are the numbers and the ‘real’ numbers make it difficult to be positive about a potential recovery; a jobless recovery.
Using the Republican formula for determining success or causation, credit or blame, Republican’s are clearly responsible for the 1.35 million former employees who have applied for benefits since they came into office.
A headline number of 400,000 is desirable given the scope of the initial claims over the last three years, but in order to make ‘real’ progress on the jobs front new claims need to be around 300,000 weekly. It is difficult to get excited when, unadjusted, an average of 675,000 filed for benefits each of the last two weeks and thousands are dropping off the rolls every single week.
So, Mr. Speaker, now that you’ve repealed the job-killing healthcare bill, where are the jobs?
Maybe next on your agenda you could repeal the Gramm/Leach/Bliley Bill—the nation-killing legislation you passed 11 years ago; the one that caused the financial meltdown, massive unemployment, decimated the middle-class in America, and threatened the economies of the entire globe.
I’ll ask again, Mr. Speaker. Where are the jobs?