Blue Line 4 Week Average
The market was expecting 345,000 to 346,000 vs the 324,000 reported. The more important 4 week moving average is better, moving from 357,500 (reported last week) to 342,250.
It should be pointed out that Econintersect watches the year-over-year change 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 bottom graph below). The initial claims are 10.9% lower (improving from 6.3% last week) than they were in this week in 2012. Claims remain elevated from the trend lines seen for most of 2012.
From the Department of Labor:
In the week ending April 27, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 324,000, a decrease of 18,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 342,000. The 4-week moving average was 342,250, a decrease of 16,000 from the previous week's revised average of 358,250.
The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.3 percent for the week ending April 20, unchanged from the prior week's unrevised rate. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending April 20 was 3,019,000, an increase of 12,000 from the preceding week's revised level of 3,007,000. The 4-week moving average was 3,055,500, a decrease of 18,000 from the preceding week's revised average of 3,073,500.
Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims - 4 Week Average - Seasonally Adjusted - 2011 (red line), 2012 (green line), 2013 (blue line)