As I had predicted three weeks ago, the jobless claims would fall following the three-day, Fourth-of-July holiday. Also as predicted, the economists would be shocked (as in the case this morning) when the jobless claims jumped significantly to be greater than expected (Click here to See Story: Jobless claims rise more than expected last week). Actually, the claims number jumped to 464,000 from the "expected" consensus of only 445,000. And that number was markedly higher than last week's reported 427,000.
On the political left, last week's number saw jubilation over the fact that the jobless claims fell to a two-year low; and, finally, there was some hope that the Stimulus Package was actually working. However, theirs was their own stupidity in coming to that conclusion without looking at the context which actually spawned last week's unrealistically low number. But, what else would you expect from a bunch of politicians who are totally clueless when it comes to the "how's and why's" of job creation and job losses.
Going forward, I would expect the claims numbers to get even worse with the weekly jobless numbers coming in closer to 500,000 claimants for each of the next 3 or 4 weeks. This will be a direct result of all the census workers being let go from their intentionally temporary jobs. I'm not sure, but my guess is that this fact will again shock all those prognosticators. As a result, we will probably see another set of media headlines that read: "Jobless Claims Jump Higher Than Expected!"
Let's be realistic. Do we ever really see numbers that come in "as expected"?