Blue Line 4 Week Average
The market was expecting 388,000 to 475,000 vs the 439,000 reported. The more important 4 week moving average is up from 370,500 to 383,750. The big increase this week was likely due to the effects of Hurricane Sandy.
It should be pointed out that Econintersect watches the gap between years on the 4 week moving average. There is some seasonality which seems to have migrated into the seasonally adjusted data - specifically there is a decline in unemployment in the last third of the year (see graph below). The average year-over-year decline in the initial unemployment claims is 9.8%. However, the 4 week average of year-over-year decline is now 2.6% showing that the trend on initial unemployment claims is worsening.
From the Department of Labor:
In the week ending November 10, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 439,000, an increase of 78,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 361,000. The 4-week moving average was 383,750, an increase of 11,750 from the previous week's revised average of 372,000.
The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.6 percent for the week ending November 3, an increase of 0.1 percentage point from the prior week's revised rate. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending November 3 was 3,334,000, an increase of 171,000 from the preceding week's revised level of 3,163,000. The 4-week moving average was 3,254,500, an increase of 17,750 from the preceding week's revised average of 3,236,750..
Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims - 4 Week Average - Seasonally Adjusted - 2010 (blue line), 2011 (red line), 2012 (green line)