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Thursday, September 08, 2011

Initial Claims

September 8th for the week ending September 1st. SA initial claims rose from 412K (revised up) the prior week to 414K. The four week moving average is climbing back up, and this week's is 414,750. Actual claims are only 35K below last year's comparable week.

The four week moving average of continuing claims climbed a bit. Not really what one wants to see, but I suppose this sets the stage for the Great Jobs Speech.

We had several weeks there when the total of initial claims was elevated by the other factors, such as the Verizon strike. But as far as I know, this week has no such features, so this is a bit disappointing.

Today we get the crude inventories report - the holiday delayed it.

Glad to see the trade deficit higher. I guess
Devaluing the dollar so we can compete has
Helped. Where are the jobs ? Oh that's right,
It's still cheaper to import than to manufacture
here because we are competing with slave labor.
Welcome to third world wages with a first world
Cost of living.
I see the headlines today that consumer borrowing has gone up for the tenth straight month. This stat includes car loans, student loans and tuition. I'm baffled. Who's borrowing? The rich? And none of this fits in with the generally crappy other indicators (ISM, PMI, Beige Book, etc.)

Sal M
If you don't have any money you can't afford a new Toyota.

But you can still afford a new Chevrolet.
People without jobs are going back to school.
School loans don't have to be repaid until the
Student leaves school. Lots of older students treading water
Hoping the economy gets better before they leave school.
Sal - I don't see it in H.8. Aside from student loans and some car loans, consumer borrowing is pretty flat. The basis for those reports is the Consumer Credit report.

The Consumer Credit report covers bank as well as non-bank lending to consumers for everything but loans secured by RE. In July, credit card loans dropped 5.2%, but non-revolving consumer loans rose by 11.2% annualized on a seasonally adjusted basis.

When you look at the breakout for non-revolving, the fact that almost all of the growth appeared in the federal government bracket tells you that the vast majority of the growth in consumer lending did come from student loans. (The feds took over student loans in healthcare reform.)

So Spork is right. In all honesty, this is one of the aspects of the deal that makes me very pessimistic. Even if the education pays off with a well-paying job, many of the new employees will be paying back their education mortgage before they can ever afford a home or a child. It is bad to run up CC debt, but you can go BK and dump a lot of it. These loans are not discharged in bankruptcy - some of these students will be having their SS monthly checks garnished for student loans.

It's hardly a picture of a bright and glorious future.

Also, the crappy job market makes it much harder for students to cover their education costs through part-time employment.

Good call - always be suspicious of such accounts if they don't square with what you are observing. A lot of talking heads simply don't read the reports and so talk nonsense.
And credit collection is becoming much uglier. If you are already being ragged by collection agents, you are unlikely to want to take on new debt, especially if they are trying to collect something that it years old.

My boyfriend wants his 22 year old son to go to college. Son doesn't know what he really wants to do and he's not really into going to college right now. So he's taking a variety of odd jobs. It's interesting and I'm proud of him in a way. So many of his friends move back in with their folks. He's at least trying to live on his own as an adult. I'm not sure going into debt for college would give him much of a leg up on a better job right now.
Teri - dirty jobs skills are likely to be more in demand than the mediocre academic. So if he's not interested in an academic field, why not trade training?
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