Count me among those who believe there are some serious structural problems with our economy that may well force us to live with an unacceptably high level of unemployment for some time to come. Today’s Unemployment Insurance claims “unexpectedly” spiked to 484k vs. a 440k consensus, and were 24k higher than last week.
That said, week after week we’ve been treated to — let’s call them what they are — excuses as to why the weekly claims for unemployment insurance are not dropping as quickly as everyone would like.
Today, for example, we see the following (via the WSJ, sub. required):
A Labor Department economist said this latest rise can be pegged to lag effects from the spring holidays, including Easter and Cesar Chavez Day, which is celebrated in worker-heavy California.
Cesar Chavez? Really? Are you kidding me? Is the Journal being punk’d?
Thanksgiving, Christmas, MLK Jr. Day, snow storms, Easter, Cesar Chavez. Upcoming next week are Administrative Professionals Day and Take Your Children to Work Day, so fear not when UI claims breach 500k again.
Adding a clarification: In my haste to get this post published today, perhaps I sent an unintended message, and for that I apologize. My post was in no way whatsoever intended to diminish, belittle, or besmirch the life and accomplishments of Cesar Chavez. The point was to highlight the absurdity of attributing today’s jump in unemployment claims to the Chavez holiday. Isn’t this what seasonal adjustments are all about? Was it not on the calendar for all to see? Snow storms and other weather-related problems cannot be accounted for in advance. But holidays? Give me a break. Again, the point had nothing to do with Chavez per se, and I’m sorry if I was unclear about that.