The peak in initial claims might be in but the peak in unemployment is nowhere close. Continuing claims hit 6.56 million, setting a record for the 15th straight week.

Please consider the Department of Labor Weekly Claims Report.

SEASONALLY ADJUSTED DATA

In the week ending May 9, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 637,000, an increase of 32,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 605,000. The 4-week moving average was 630,500, an increase of 6,000 from the previous week's revised average of 624,500.

The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 4.9 percent for the week ending May 2, an increase of 0.1 percentage point from the prior week's unrevised rate of 4.8 percent.

The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending May 2 was 6,560,000, an increase of 202,000 from the preceding week's revised level of 6,358,000. The 4-week moving average was 6,337,250, an increase of 128,750 from the preceding week's revised average of 6,208,500.

The fiscal year-to-date average for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment for all programs is 5.011 million.

Unemployment Claims

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It gets tiring refuting green shoots nonsense but nearly all of it is second derivative imagination. In simple terms, things are getting worse at a lesser rate but they are light years away from being any good.

For example, the 4 week moving average of claims peaked at 650,000 in March. Initial claims are now 630,000. To put this into perspective, a year ago the 4 week moving average was 369,000 a number that at the time was considered awful.

The Labor Department says claims took a jump because of Chrysler, so expect another jump next month due to GM.

Economists expect to see unemployment by 10% at the end of the year. I expect to see it at 9.8%+- by August and approaching 11% by the end of the year. Bear in mind the stress-free tests conducted by the Fed had an adverse scenario of 10.3% at the end of 2010.