Initial Claims – Were They As Bad As They Seemed?

At first, we looked at the headline and was somewhat taken back by the greater than anticipated rise in initial claims this week. Could it be that the BP oil fiasco has already started to show an uptick in initial claims?

Perhaps, but we will not know that until next week as the state numbers are lagged. As we look at the state data, there is no discernible increase over the past few weeks from the gulf region. That has us wonder what was going on… Where are all the claims coming from? It appears from what we are seeing that it is broad based, but we would not just forget about the number of initial claims that must be coming from the gulf region.

Continuing claims also ticked up this week. That was also a surprise. It does not make sense that this is continuing higher as benefits are starting to end for many who have been on the extended plan. This is NOT a good sign for anyone tracking a recovery based on employment numbers.