Thursday, November 3, 2011

Stat of the Day: Jobless Claims Below 400K

Jobless claims is one of the most useful economic stats since it is basically real time as opposed to most numbers that can be a month or two behind. It is also one of the best predictors of economic growth.

As economists an investors panicked about a recession in Q3, the jobless claims were telling a different story. Naturally it wasn't one of economic strength, but it clearly wasn't one of a double dip recession. Week after week the numbers came in around the low 400Ks and showed continual progress downward from the April peaks.

This mornings US Department of Labor reported seasonally adjusted initial claims of 397K. A decrease of 9K from the previous week's revised figure of 406K. More interesting is that the unadjusted initial claims were 367K.

Most people would be surprised to know that the unadjusted numbers have been consistently below 400K. In fact, just a few backs on October 15 the number was 357K.

Below is the difference between seasonally adjusted and unadjusted numbers that are well worth a read.



SEASONALLY ADJUSTED DATA

  • In the week ending October 29, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 397,000, a decrease of 9,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 406,000. The 4-week moving average was 404,500, a decrease of 2,000 from the previous week's revised average of 406,500.
  • The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.9 percent for the week ending October 22, unchanged from the prior week's unrevised rate.
  • The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending October 22 was 3,683,000, a decrease of 15,000 from the preceding week's revised level of 3,698,000. The 4-week moving average was 3,703,250, a decrease of 10,500 from the preceding week's revised average of 3,713,750.

UNADJUSTED DATA
  • The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 366,923 in the week ending October 29, a decrease of 10,433 from the previous week. There were 421,097 initial claims in the comparable week in 2010.
  • The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.5 percent during the week ending October 22, unchanged from the prior week. The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 3,178,790, a decrease of 16,241 from the preceding week. A year earlier, the rate was 3.0 percent and the volume was 3,759,365.
  • The total number of people claiming benefits in all programs for the week ending October 15 was 6,781,960, an increase of 103,117 from the previous week.

No comments: