Here come initial jobless claims…


Mark Blinch/Reuters

Lukas Stewart, with a sign strapped to his back, uses a megaphone to attract the attention of potential employers as he hands out resumes on Bay Street in the financial district in Toronto, March 5, 2009.

The latest reading on initial jobless claims will be out at 8:30 a.m. ET.

Economist forecast that claims, which count the number of people who applied for unemployment insurance for the first time in the past week, rose to 245,000.

Last week, claims unexpectedly fell to 234,000, which marked the 101st consecutive week that the reading came in below 300,000.

Moreover, the four-week moving came in at 244,250, which is the lowest level since November 3, 1973 when it was 244,000.

Initial jobless claims are used as a real-time proxy for the pace of layoffs and the overall health of the labor market, since people usually file for benefits soon after they lose their jobs.

Refresh this page for updates at 8:30 a.m. ET.

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  • The spin is an interesting take on the current job market for Americans in search of work. Political bias aside, the minimal 5,000 seasonally adjusted increase from last week’s second lowest estimated total of more than a decade, when the February 9th ETA release had 234,000 new claims trailing only Saturday, November 12th’s 233,000 on the fifth day after Donald Trump’s election, ignoring the real data leaves much to be desired. Instead of increasing by 5,000, the actual not seasonally adjusted counts reported by the States fell by 13,637. And the record 102 weeks below 300,000 new job loss claimants is decidedly more misleading, yet. Barack Obama’s less than stellar economy recorded seven consecutive weeks above 300,000 on the real counts, right up to his final shared week with the new President returning to a sub 300,000 count at 281,737 through the week ended January 21, 2017. Since the media willingly posts Thomas Perez’ and Obama appointees’ at the Labor Department release material, the real counts were less impressive than the claimed seasonally adjusted estimates with fully 19 of the then claimed 98 weeks under 300,000 topping that celebrated benchmark figure.

    Since the left likes to claim a healed, impressive economy, which Obama laid claim to in his final State of the Union Address, perhaps a few more real counts in comparison to the Administration that served as an endless excuse for failure over the past eight years is warranted. There are two counts kept by the Labor Department which come from Employers’ payroll records for tax purposes that would surprise anyone who relies on news from Obama appointees or the sycophants who amplify the echo chamber narrative. The first comes from the Employment & Training Administration’s (ETA) r539cy quarterly count, which included final figures for the Obama Administration in the first week of February. George W Bush’s workforce growth, according to the ETA, was 7,043,293, while Barack Obama’s employers’ payroll count reported 2 million fewer jobs gained at 5,043,394. The Labor Department’s Quarterly Census of Employment & Wages (QCEW) is, likewise, data gathered from employers’ payroll records through state and territories reporting nationwide. It is a lagging indicator, but the latest count for the Obama Administration at 8,860,728 just edged Bush’s count for the same months in Office at 8,405,191.

    The Current Population Survey, which gathers the figures reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on the Household Data series tables for the monthly Employment Situation Report, showed figures nearly opposite the QCEW’s last quarterly count in favor of George Bush. The not seasonally adjusted count showed Bush’s workforce expand by 8,888,000 on HD Table A-1, while Obama’s job growth came in at 8,448,000. The seasonally adjusted figures are estimates former holdover Bureau of Labor Statistics Commissioner Keith Hall who served under both Bush and Obama called “deeply flawed”. Their falloff in accuracy is on full display in a graph of six different measures kept by various branches of the Labor Department to come up with monthly, quarterly, and annual counts that serve to provide comparative figures for each of the past two Presidents’ 96 months in Office. While it shouldn’t need to be said, seasonal adjustment diminishes in importance over a full year, and is inarguably less accurate and meaningful across longer periods, such as the duration of two Presidential terms which provide eight years of data. On HD Table A-1, the seasonally adjusted estimate meant to smooth unexpected short-term anomalies along with occasional recognizable, readily acknowledged circumstances showed Obama’s job growth reach 8,773,000, while the man, and Administration, the left continues to bash showed job growth of 7,468,000 over eight years’ seasonally adjusted Household Data reporting. Both the seasonal adjustment process and the birth/death cycle model introduced in late 2003 are responsible for diminishing accuracy and figures which have strayed far from the two nationwide employers’ payroll counts on Current Employment Statistics (CES) Establishment Data estimates.

    If you’re wondering whether any particular groups benefited from the Junior Senator from Illinois’ promised fundamental change in his remarkable ascension to the White House, perhaps a few more Labor Department figures can offer perspective. From January 2009 through final figures released in the first week of February for Obama’s workforce numbers, Hispanics far outdistanced all other demographic groups for jobs gained at 5,693,000, which dropped from more than 6 million on not seasonally adjusted counts over the past two months. Given the anomalous, rare job loss, the BLS held steady at 6,000,000 jobs gained for Hispanics on seasonally adjusted counts, from 19,453,000 in January 2009 to 25,453,000 in January 2017. The next best performance came from a new demographic added in January 2010, with the Foreign Born gaining 4,631,000.

    Blacks or African Americans, who as the nation’s second largest minority accounted for 12.3% of the populace, managed a solid 2,988,000 jobs gained. Asians, at an estimated 4.7% in 2010, now believed to be more in the 5% range, gained 2,662,000. While the above categories are distinct, easily differentiable demographics, they’re not mutually exclusive. Hispanics are believed to make up the majority of the 4.6 million foreign born, while Asians, and to a lesser extent blacks who made up the lion’s share of refugees and asylees across Obama’s African and war-torn Middle East immigrant spike, each measured in the hundreds of thousands of foreign born who claimed jobs ahead of our own native born.

    If anyone’s wondering about the United States’ white majority, since they’re the last demographic from BLS racial/ethnic counts mentioned here, there’s an obvious reason. At 72.3% in the last Census, it would be reasonable to expect whites to have gained more jobs than not only each minority recognized by the Labor Department but all minorities combined. Of course, neither is the case. Whites added an absolutely pitiful 688,000 jobs since Obama took the Oath of Office, which translates into an unemployed Hispanic in search of work being about 16 to 18 times more likely to secure gainful employment than their majority counterpart. Blacks have held about an 8 to 9 times advantage for one of their demographics’ unemployed to secure work over whites who were mostly responsible for the unprecedented spike to 95,406,000 Not in Labor Force count, our currently recognized 8,149,000 unemployed, or the combined 7,686,000 marginally attached and individuals who want a job who are counted as neither.

    If there’s any misunderstanding as to how and why Donald Trump was elected and still enjoys widespread support as our 45th President, in spite of wuthering non-stop criticism from the liberal media, the left’s heartthrob, former hero Bill Clinton made his impression abundantly clear enroute to the White House back in 1993. “It’s the economy, stupid!!”

    Obama and the left’s narrative will never hold water for the more than 111 million combined NiLF, marginally attached, and individuals who want a job but aren’t considered unemployed or part of the 95.4 million. For those determined to dismiss the Not in Labor Force spike as a natural occurrence for retiring Baby Boom seniors, over the past six months 1,719,000 of the 2,489,000 NiLF hike came from working age Americans between 16 and 64. Working age individuals accounted for 69.1% of the spike, while super seniors made up just 30.9% of the newly minted Not in Labor Force former workers summarily dismissed from counts of the unemployed.