Blue Line 4 Week Average
The market was expecting 360,000 to 370,000 vs the 388,000 reported. The more important 4 week moving average is up insignificantly to 365,500.
There was much noise last week on the dramatic fall in initial unemployment claims. Econintersect has posted three articles on the decline in unemployment last week:
It should be pointed out that Econintersect watches the gap between years on the 4 week moving average. There is some seasonality which migrates into the seasonally adjusted data - specifically there is a decline in unemployment in the last third of the year (see graph below). The year-over-year change from the same week last year has returned to -8.6% showing the unemployment decline trend lines seen so far this year are unchanged - and that last weeks good data could be an anomaly. Only time will tell.
From the Department of Labor:
In the week ending October 13, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 388,000, an increase of 46,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 342,000. The 4-week moving average was 365,500, an increase of 750 from the previous week's revised average of 364,750.
The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.5 percent for the week ending October 6, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point from the prior week's unrevised rate. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending October 6 was 3,252,000, a decrease of 29,000 from the preceding week's revised level of 3,281,000. The 4-week moving average was 3,275,500, a decrease of 5,750 from the preceding week's revised average of 3,281,250..
Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims - 4 Week Average - Seasonally Adjusted - 2010 (blue line), 2011 (red line), 2012 (green line)