Blue Line 4 Week Average
The market was expecting 375,000 vs the 369,000 reported. The more important 4 week moving average is up to 368,000.
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 is -8.3% - showing the unemployment decline trend lines seen so far this year are unchanged - and that the good data two weeks ago is likely an anomaly. Only time will tell.
From the Department of Labor:
In the week ending October 20, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 369,000, a decrease of 23,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 392,000. The 4-week moving average was 368,000, an increase of 1,500 from the previous week's revised average of 366,500.
The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.5 percent for the week ending October 13, unchanged from the prior week's unrevised rate. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending October 13 was 3,254,000, a decrease of 2,000 from the preceding week's revised level of 3,256,000. The 4-week moving average was 3,269,750, a decrease of 6,750 from the preceding week's revised average of 3,276,500.
Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims - 4 Week Average - Seasonally Adjusted - 2010 (blue line), 2011 (red line), 2012 (green line)