Jobless Claims Jump To 26 Year High: 626,000 New Claims

While the Beltway "Bipartisan" BSers fiddle, the nation's economy is melting:

The number of U.S. workers filing new claims for unemployment benefits jumped to a 26-year high last week, according to government data on Thursday that pointed to a rapid deterioration in the economy.

. . . [I]nitial claims for state unemployment insurance benefits rose 35,000 to a seasonally adjusted 626,000 in the week ended January 31, the highest since the week ending October 30, 1982. The prior week's number was revised up to 591,000 from 588,000. . . . The four-week moving average for new claims, considered to be a better gauge of underlying trends as it irons out week-to-week volatility, rose to 582,250, the highest reading since the week ending December 4, 1982.

Time to act, NOW.

Speaking for me only

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    Well... (none / 0) (#1)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Thu Feb 05, 2009 at 09:18:47 AM EST
    Well, given the actual details of Obama's (none / 0) (#2)
    by dk on Thu Feb 05, 2009 at 09:26:44 AM EST
    stimulus proposal, I assume you now count him among the bipartisan fiddlers.  

    I really doubt the stimulus bill as Obama wants it will help enough, and in some areas (such as the tax credit added for homebuyers, it will probably get more people underwater, as Ruffian explained in the last post), but I suppsose the good thing about getting this bill over and done with is that it frees up time for the remote possibility that another bill could be enacted that actually could do something better.

    I went for broke for 10 years (none / 0) (#3)
    by Cream City on Thu Feb 05, 2009 at 09:48:21 AM EST
    of grad school, and as a single mom, for a Ph.D. for job security in my field -- after having parttime teaching contracts torn up to my face.

    I have not always felt that it was a worthy economic investment (although outweighed by it being a worthy investment in other ways).

    As one of the few in my family still employed, the only one of the employed with job security, I guess grad school and all those student loans were a good idea, after all.  That is the only solace I get -- as in addition to the daughter and fiance and stepson laid off, the son's fiance who can't find a job, the son who will not be able to do so either at graduation soon, the other stepson is on notice.  How long his dad, who was supposed to be retired like my kids' dad by now, can help them all . . . I don't know.

    Just to name a handful of those 626,000 -- and to note the impact on millions more around them.

    Time to act now?  Time to act was some time ago.
    But we'll settle for now -- although I know we won't get it, not what really is needed.  

    And I also know that what is not really needed is all of the new grad students we see, with soaring applications for next fall.  The job market -- with job security -- will not be there for them in a lot of teaching fields, since so many of us now cannot retire as soon as we hoped.  

    Ah well, gotta go pay bills now -- mine and others' bills.

    Sounds familiar (none / 0) (#4)
    by CST on Thu Feb 05, 2009 at 10:04:13 AM EST
    I have never been happier I chose civil engineering.  Talk about a job that is hard to outsource.

    however, both my sisters, most of my cousins, and a lot of my friends are in the teaching business and either out of work or about to be out of work.  Some are in grad school and never gonna get a job...

    The "soaring applications" for grad school are at least partly due to the fact that people are out of work with no where else to go.

    My h.s. which was on USA today's to 100 - is cutting it's entire modern languages program (not to mention all the arts).  Doesn't bode well for new teachers.


    I have friends, too (none / 0) (#7)
    by Cream City on Thu Feb 05, 2009 at 10:45:12 AM EST
    who wish now that they had not gone along so long on contract teaching jobs, avoiding tenure battles. My battle nearly killed me but we made it through.

    And now I'm fighting for those friends' contract teaching jobs, but there is nowhere to go now for the money for them -- because the funding source, undergraduate enrollment, is dropping fast, so not enough students to justify extra teachers.  And, of course, others of us are being given larger classes, course overloads, and the like.  Whether we like it or not, it's what we have to do in this budgetary climate to graduate students we already have.

    But with grad enrollments soaring for reasons you also note, and no job market -- we're also voting tomorrow to cut off applications for fall.  A first for us, but taking responsibility for tough calls is the task required of management . . . and tenure means management.  Not all faculty  understand that, of course, if they don't come from the biz world as I did or get trained in a good academic culture.  But they will learn it now.


    Interesting (none / 0) (#8)
    by CST on Thu Feb 05, 2009 at 10:48:13 AM EST
    I didn't know undergraduate enrollment dropped.  Why do you think that is?  Is it the end of the baby boom or something else?

    Baby boomlet (none / 0) (#9)
    by Cream City on Thu Feb 05, 2009 at 11:35:31 AM EST
    it's called -- baby boom ended in '64.  My baby boom generation (I was born in the peak year) delayed reproduction a while but finally filled maternity wards again in the late '70s and '80s.  So our kids filled college campuses.  But they're delaying reproduction, too (thank heavens; I tell them I'm ready to be a grandma but they're not ready to be parents:-),  So the standard 18-year-old group does seem to be down.  I'm seeking demographic data from a friend on this.

    But economics matters, too.  And not just tuition, books, etc., at both big campuses in town, public and private.  Plus housing for a lot at the other campus.  At mine, housing apps were down -- but it's mainly a commuter campus, and I gather that a factor was that, in fall, gas prices still were up.

    I'm also awaiting enrollment data nationwide for fall and locally for this spring to see if the decline continues -- seeking info about six months before it will, make that may, hit media.


    boomlet (none / 0) (#13)
    by CST on Thu Feb 05, 2009 at 01:43:14 PM EST
    to me implies smaller, which I'm not sure is true.

    I have heard "echo boom" which may be a more accurate a term.  I know we aren't the originals :)

    It's funny what you say about reproduction.  My mom has taking up knitting - baby clothes no less.  And none of her children are the least bit inclined to cooperate so she has to give them all away to friends...


    To clarify (none / 0) (#14)
    by CST on Thu Feb 05, 2009 at 02:01:22 PM EST
    There were fewer of us born in the U.S., but due to the large amount of immigration of young people we are a bigger demographic than we were 20 yrs ago, and may eventually eclipse the size of the original boomers.

    This is all way off topic, but I find it kinda nteresting.


    I find it fascinating, too (none / 0) (#15)
    by Cream City on Fri Feb 06, 2009 at 12:24:19 AM EST
    as demographics drive so much in our society.

    Btw, I understand that the boomlet was smaller -- but still bigger than the interim group.  That's in births.  It may be that the boomlet age group then grew from in-migration -- but it also may be that those coming later are less likely to go to college.

    More data coming tomorrow to us -- along with massive budget cuts to be made.  It will be a long day, and one of many ahead.  And heartbreaking days, too, as we actually are reading up on the layoff procedures to prep for the meeting. . . .


    Is it still worht it (none / 0) (#11)
    by Socraticsilence on Thu Feb 05, 2009 at 01:34:40 PM EST
    I'm probably taking the GRE this summer and I'm debating wheter going LSAT would be a better route in this current enviroment.

    Let me clarify (none / 0) (#12)
    by Socraticsilence on Thu Feb 05, 2009 at 01:35:57 PM EST
    I have no desire to be a lawyer but I also don't want to be homeless in 4 or 5 years when I can't take government loans.

    It is a good time to be in school (none / 0) (#16)
    by Cream City on Fri Feb 06, 2009 at 12:27:10 AM EST
    in many ways.  For one thing, there are grants (thank you, late Sen. Pell).  And it's one of the few ways to get a loan today for a lot of young people.  If you do, try to bank as much of it as you can.  And when the day to pay it back comes, pray that Congress hasn't pulled the tax deductibility (thank you, Pres. Clinton -- I only wish that had been there in time for me).

    Mortgage Rates Question (none / 0) (#5)
    by Pianobuff on Thu Feb 05, 2009 at 10:26:18 AM EST
    I was reading somewhere that 30 year mortgage rates went up .5% in the last four weeks.  Anybody know the correlation (if any) between mortgage rates and inflation/deflation in general?

    Act Now (none / 0) (#6)
    by Slado on Thu Feb 05, 2009 at 10:27:58 AM EST
    but if it doesn't work then what?

    The rush to a stimulus is sending bad money after bad.  Government intervention and manipulation cuased this mess and more government intervention and manipulation isn't going to help.

    The whole global economy is feeling the pinch of bad moentary and fiscal policy.  The government needs to help out those who've been hurt (unemployement, health care etc...) and ride this out.  

    More borrowing and spending of money from the private economy to the public and certian parts of the private economy is simply moving money around.  

    It won't help a thing.

    "Time to act, NOW." (none / 0) (#10)
    by pluege on Thu Feb 05, 2009 at 12:38:22 PM EST
    Time to act was in the fall. But given the craven republican plutocrats in charge, there was no practical way to make that happen. Consequently the time to act was 21-Jan-09. Unfortunately that didn't happen as Democrats were still hungover from all their mirror-gazing beautification.