Jobless Claims Cross 500K, Brace For Much Higher Unemployment

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Weekly jobless claims came out this morning above the critical and psychological level of 500,000 filing for unemployment.  This was a gain of 32,000 to 516,000, and to little surprise there was a slight upward revision to last week’s weekly jobless claims to 484,000 from 481,000 previously reported.  Today’s jobless claims also marked the highest reading since September 2001.

The four=week average also gained over 13,000 to 491,000, which is the highest since 1991 and way above levels indicating a mild recession. Auto-related layoffs in Ohio and Michigan were the highest group in the data to no one’s surpripse.

We have been trying to prepare our readers for much worse numbers over the coming months and these numbers are actually only over the last 30 days getting anywhere close to our lower-end of what to expect. Unfortunately, we still see more pain coming down the pipe, and the lack of temporary and part-time jobs going into the holidays is a treacherous and ominous signal of what lies ahead.  That means that right after the holiday season, these employers who would have normally geared up will actually get to send many more workers to the bench.

More pain is coming. 

Jon C.Ogg
November 13, 2008