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imported_Conrad
02-19-2004, 05:57 PM
U.S. Economy: Jobless Claims Fall, Leading Index Up (Update3)

Feb. 19 (Bloomberg) -- The number of Americans filing initial unemployment claims fell last week and an index of leading economic indicators rose for a 10th month in January, suggesting stronger growth may help hiring. A Federal Reserve report showed a record percentage of Philadelphia-area factories were lengthening their work weeks.

Initial applications fell to 344,000 in the week ended Saturday from 368,000 a week earlier, the Labor Department said. The New York-based Conference Board's index of leading economic indicators rose 0.5 percent last month after a 0.2 percent rise.

The work-week measure was included with the Fed Bank of Philadelphia's factory index, which was the second-highest in a decade even after falling more than economists forecast. The overall index fell to 31.4 in February from 38.8 in January as orders and shipments slowed. The work-week index rose to 23.6, the highest since record keeping began in 1968.

High C
02-19-2004, 06:04 PM
Conrad, this is NOT good news. You'll see that soon enough, right here.... ;)

ljb5
02-19-2004, 11:19 PM
Originally posted by High C:
Conrad, this is NOT good news. You'll see that soon enough, right here.... ;) As a general rule, High C, you shouldn't stop reading just when Conrad stops quoting from the article.

Let's see what else it has to say (http://quote.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=10000103&sid=ahlosDOj7738&refer=us)...

[ 02-19-2004, 11:24 PM: Message edited by: ljb5 ]

B_B
02-20-2004, 12:37 AM
WOW Conrad, another two and a bit MILLION jobs and you'll be right where you were THREE+ years ago - WHOOOO HOOOO!

btw for the unitiated - jobless claims fall for two reasons:
1 because people find jobs
2 because people GIVE up looking for jobs.

hmm, in the wonderous economic times we are experiencing it would seem to me that number one, oh, number two, hmm, hum, well lets see....

imported_Conrad
02-20-2004, 01:40 AM
You were right, High C, but it took them longer than I expected! ;) :D

B_B
02-20-2004, 01:45 AM
Originally posted by Conrad:
You were right, High C, but it took them longer than I expected! ;) :D Wow, another stellar post by the great Conrad. :rolleyes:

imported_Conrad
02-20-2004, 02:08 AM
Followed by a pithy retort from the great white north. :rolleyes: Humbled and cowering, I scurry for cover lest the great barrage of French crape' engulf me! :eek:

B_B
02-20-2004, 02:09 AM
ibid - my previous post.

imported_Conrad
02-20-2004, 02:12 AM
Oooooh, Latin! You win! Now go have a drink and come back in another three months! ;)

B_B
02-20-2004, 02:17 AM
Conrad - the Barry Bonds of of the WBF - no THG here, just pure, unadulterated genius I tell you!

imported_Conrad
02-20-2004, 02:26 AM
And you have a problem with this? ;) Good looking too! (Or is that Joe?)

http://www.strangecosmos.com/images/picturejokes/15196.jpg

You get the last word- I'm up early to go skiing tomorow. Have a great day!

[ 02-20-2004, 02:32 AM: Message edited by: Conrad ]

B_B
02-20-2004, 02:29 AM
So, THG genius, tell me, tell us all, what of the two+ million jobs lost in the last three years?

PRIOR to 9/11?

hmmm?

B_B
02-20-2004, 02:31 AM
In another post you made fun of Meer sidestepping the issue - hmm, pot calling kettle black or just another numbnut don't know what he/she is talking about?

Meerkat
02-20-2004, 02:44 AM
By the look of that thong, I'm leaning towards the numbnuts! :D :D :D

shamus
02-20-2004, 02:54 AM
Conrad, a serious question.

I find myself reading a lot of comment about the US economy, for dirty money making reasons of my own, and there does seem to be quite a few worries about this recovery. Now sure, there's always bears, and I probably seek them out as a balance to my own optimistic nature. Joking there a little.

Do you see genuine sustainable prosperity around you? I'd be highly interested in anecdotal evidence.

James R
02-20-2004, 11:27 AM
Meanwhile, here in the Great Frozen White North everybody is truly ecstatic about how well the economy is doing. A senior economist at one of the big 5 banks here had this to say about the unemployment rate this month: "This job market is like the Energizer bunny, it just keeps going and going and going,...It's really rather astounding."

The unemployment rate here is at its lowest in some 20 or so years, excluding 2000 and 2001. I'll give a "well done" to the first non-canuck to find out what that rate is.

WWheeler
02-20-2004, 11:37 AM
The number of Americans filing initial unemployment claims fell last week US unemployment rate are usually held to be highly suspect by economists and statisticians since it is based on the number of people actually filing UI claims (as quoted above), and not on the actual numbers of people out of work, or looking for work. For example, in a long and deep recession, the unemployment numbers can actually improve, since the number of people eligible to file claims actually falls.

km gresham
02-20-2004, 11:38 AM
Not enough jobs, not the right jobs, not in the right place, they don't pay enough, .... did I miss anything? :rolleyes: smile.gif

James R
02-20-2004, 12:12 PM
Originally posted by WWheeler:
US unemployment rate are usually held to be highly suspect by economists and statisticians since it is based on the number of people actually filing UI claims (as quoted above), and not on the actual numbers of people out of work, or looking for work. For example, in a long and deep recession, the unemployment numbers can actually improve, since the number of people eligible to file claims actually falls.Many people believe that but they are wrong. This has been discussed here before. Go to And here come the jobs, y'all (http://media5.hypernet.com/cgi-bin/UBB/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=5&t=012086&p=). The explanation is about halfway down.


Originally posted by Braam Berrub:
btw for the unitiated - jobless claims fall for two reasons:
1 because people find jobs
2 because people GIVE up looking for jobs.The statistic referred to in the article and which is reported every Thursday at 08:30 is for "Initial Claims". It's the number of new people applying for unemployment benefits that week so neither of your two points apply. The only reason for "Initial Claims" to fall is that employers are letting less people go.

[ 02-20-2004, 01:03 PM: Message edited by: James R ]

High C
02-20-2004, 01:28 PM
Originally posted by WWheeler:
US unemployment rate are usually held to be highly suspect by economists and statisticians since it is based on the number of people actually filing UI claims (as quoted above), and not on the actual numbers of people out of work, or looking for work. For example, in a long and deep recession, the unemployment numbers can actually improve, since the number of people eligible to file claims actually falls.This is an old myth which seems never to die.
:rolleyes: The unemployment rate is determined by survey of random households. It has nothing to do with unemployment insurance. It may or may not not be particularly accurate, what poll is?, but the method has been the same for a long time, so it IS an accurate tool to measure historical trend and direction.

ljb5
02-20-2004, 01:33 PM
There are a number of different measurements: initial claims, announced layoffs, payroll size, long-term unemployed, job-seekers, discouraged former job seekers, etc...

Economists look at all of these numbers.

As has been pointed out by some of the members here, there are always sources of error in economic models, predictions and measurements. Economists are aware of this and do take steps to compensate and minimize. Conrad is not the only economist to ever consider these effects.

One caveat in the initial jobless claims report released yesterday is that he number was lower than expected only because the number had been hire than expected previously. Since fewer people had been hired after Chritmas, there were fewer people to lay off. That was all explained in the second half of the article, (after the point that Conrad stopped reading.)

James R
02-20-2004, 02:38 PM
Originally posted by ljb5:
One caveat in the initial jobless claims report released yesterday is that he number was lower than expected only because the number had been hire than expected previously. Since fewer people had been hired after Chritmas, there were fewer people to lay off. That was all explained in the second half of the article, (after the point that Conrad stopped reading.)"Initial Claims" is a weekly report. Yesterday's figure refers to the number of people that claimed benefits for the first time last week. It has nothing to do with Christmas nor is Christmas mentioned anywhere in the article. The increase in jobless claims reported last week was due to the bad weather during the week prior to that.

alteran
02-20-2004, 02:51 PM
Yes KM you did miss one. The unspoken one.
"I rather sit on my ass until my unemployment [and my extended benefits] run out."

shamus
02-20-2004, 06:17 PM
James R, it appears that the unemployment rate in Canada for January was 7.4%. I'm glad your rate is falling, and I hope the same for every country. Ours is mid fives, but I could wish that it wasn't caused by debt being about 450% of GDP.

bud
02-20-2004, 08:34 PM
Steel Prices Jump, Spurring Protests From Customers
Friday January 23, 12:29 am ET

Steel companies are passing on double-digit price increases to their customers, prompting protest from buyers, including General Motors Corp, about both the pace of the run-up and the addition of supplemental surcharges to existing contracts, Friday's Wall Street Journal reported.

Ideology aside, (if that's possible) soaring prices of metals, lumber, petroleum, health care, etc etc are dragging down small business, I think that's fairly obvious. Perhaps some one could explain; what's the plan here?
:rolleyes: