Blue Line 4 Week Average
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, and year-over-year comparisons removes this seasonality. The initial claims are 6.9% lower (degrading from 7.7% last week) than they were in this week in 2012.
It should be expected that the rate of improvement is now becoming "less good" over 2012 initial unemployment claims levels (as evidenced on the above chart) - 2013 claim levels are now within the normal range (around 350,000 weekly initial unemployment claims) of levels seen historically during times of economic expansion.
From the Department of Labor:
In the week ending June 1, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 346,000, a decrease of 11,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 357,000. The 4-week moving average was 352,500, an increase of 4,500 from the previous week's revised average of 348,000.
The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.3 percent for the week ending May 25, unchanged from the prior week's unrevised rate. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending May 25 was 2,952,000, a decrease of 52,000 from the preceding week's revised level of 3,004,000. The 4-week moving average was 2,975,750, a decrease of 15,250 from the preceding week's revised average of 2,991,000.
Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims - 4 Week Average - Seasonally Adjusted - 2011 (red line), 2012 (green line), 2013 (blue line)