There are some who see a ray of hope in the recent jobless claims reports, which have dropped back to “only” 467,000 in initial unemployment claims, down from 491,000 for the last week, after being over 500,000 for several weeks. Those numbers are seasonally adjusted. That hope disappears if you look at the actual numbers. For the current reporting week ending January 3, 2009, the advance number of initial claims came in at 726,420. Last week’s advance number was 717,000. We have been above 600,000 new initial claims every week since the third week of November. Continuing claims jumped massively, by 744,000 to 5,316,124.

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