Unemployment claims have hit a 26-year high. Calculated Risk brings the cool charts. Me, I'm taking the news straight up -- thanks to the morning note from High Frequency Economics' Ian Shepherdson:
Jobless claims jumped 36K to 667K, a 26-year high and above the consensus 625K. Last week's claims were revised up 4K to 631K. The consensus forecast of a small dip in claims always looked like wishful thinking. The trend in claims is sharply upwards, reflecting the depth of the recession, and we see no reason for it to peak anytime soon.
Indeed, adjusted for population growth claims are still well short of the peaks seen in the mid-70s and early 80s; to match them now would require the weekly numbers to breach the 1 million mark.
We fervently hope that does not happen but we are not confident. Companies are throwing in the towel as they recognize that no sector is safe. On the back of these data we have to expect the rate of fall of payrolls to rise further; 750K monthly declines are looming.