Jobless Claims & Ominous Revelations

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Weekly jobless claims just hit a new current recession high with a reading of 542,000 filing for unemployment.  This is the highest reading since 1992.  Last week’s numbers were revised down by 1,000 jobs to 515,000.  Bloomberg had the estimate pegged at 505,000, and it looks like Dow Jones had roughly the same target.  The four-week average of initial claims climbed by more than 15,000 to 506,500.  That is a 25-year high.

Based upon the data we are seeing, we expect much higher unemployment into early 2009.  As you saw adrop in hourly and part-time workers with the unemployment reportalready released, imagine what retailers and seasonal businesses aregoing to do with their full time ranks after the holidays.  It will be,"Thank you for your holiday work.  You’re fired, but please check inwith us in summer for the back-to- school sessions."

The beatings continue. 

Jon C. Ogg
November 20, 2008