Ex Cyclone Katrina Initial Jobless Claims rose to their highest level since September 2003 punching through the 400k mark. The 4 week moving average shot up to 374,500. From the Department of Commerce:
UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE WEEKLY CLAIMS REPORT SEASONALLY ADJUSTED DATA
In the week ending March 29, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 407,000, an increase of 38,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 369,000. The 4-week moving average was 374,500, an increase of 15,750 from the previous week's revised average of 358,750.
The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.2 percent for the week ending March 22, an increase of 0.1 percentage point from the prior week's unrevised rate of 2.1 percent.
The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending March 22 was 2,937,000, an increase of 97,000 from the preceding week's revised level of 2,840,000. The 4-week moving average was 2,859,000, an increase of 32,250 from the preceding week's revised average of 2,826,750.
Lets have a flashback for a moment to a quote from Brian Wesbury that I noted back at the end of January this year.
Brian Westbury on CNBC on, 1/22/2008, “There is really no evidence that the economy has turned over”
“Initial unemployment claims were at 301 thousand in the latest reporting week. This is so far from a recessionary level I’m like, I’m shaking my head at anybody who thinks we’re in a recession.”
How are those unemployment claims looking now Brian? Are you still shaking your head?