Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims Remain High and Stagnant

Last Updated Jul 1, 2010 2:03 PM EDT

The report on new claims for unemployment insurance is disappointing. Here's Calculated Risk. The main thing to note is that claims have been moving sideways for some time now:
Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims increase to 472,000, by Calculated Risk: The DOL reports on weekly unemployment insurance claims:
In the week ending June 26, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 472,000, an increase of 13,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 459,000. The 4-week moving average was 466,500, an increase of 3,250 from the previous week's revised average of 463,250. ...

Weekly Unemployment Claims Click on graph for larger image in new window.
This graph shows the 4-week moving average of weekly claims since January 2000. The four-week average of weekly unemployment claims increased this week by 3,250 to 466,500. The dashed line on the graph is the current 4-week average. Initial weekly claims have been at about the same level since December 2009. ...

And here's a reaction from Steven Russolillo at Market Talk:
Looks Like Another Stinking Jobless Recovery: I give up. There's nothing pretty about this morning's jobless claims report.
Claims jump 13,000 to 472,000 in the week ended June 26. The previous week's level was also revised upward, from 457,000 to 459,000. And all this comes as economists had expected claims would fall by 2,000. ...
As we mentioned in the opener, a Labor Department economist blames the latest rise on the educational services sector, where bus drivers, cafeteria workers and others lost their jobs due to the summer holidays.
What a crock of -- I mean, c'mon. Think about it, the school year coming to an end isn't some brand new phenomena; it happens every year at the exact same time. Isn't seasonally adjusted data supposed to take these sort of situations into account?
It also seems like the Labor Department always has an excuse in its back pocket whenever there's an "unexpected" rise in jobless claims. Remember in early April when the increase in claims was attributed to Cesar Chavez Day? Really? ...
"Bottom line, following the weak private sector job growth seen in yesterday's ADP report, today's initial claims data continues to point to a lackluster labor market and another jobless recovery," says Peter Boockvar, also of Miller Tabak.
We don't need excuses, we need action. If the big banks were in trouble, do you think more help would come? I do, and it wouldn't take long. We'd see action. But when millions of people who are are, collectively, every bit as important as a big bank are in trouble, we don't just fail to help them further, there's a battle to stop the help that is there from being withdrawn. Draw your own conclusions, but to me it's pretty obvious who Congress thinks it needs to please.