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 6.7% lower (less good than the 10.7% last week) than they were in this week in 2012.
The rate of improvement this week is similar to the rate of improvement seen in 2012 (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 (see chart below).
From the Department of Labor:
In the week ending July 6, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 360,000, an increase of 16,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 344,000. The 4-week moving average was 351,750, an increase of 6,000 from the previous week's revised average of 345,750.
The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.3 percent for the week ending June 29, unchanged from the prior week's unrevised rate. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending June 29 was 2,977,000, an increase of 24,000 from the preceding week's revised level of 2,953,000. The 4-week moving average was 2,970,750, a decrease of 3,500 from the preceding week's revised average of 2,974,250.
Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims - 4 Week Average - Seasonally Adjusted - 2011 (red line), 2012 (green line), 2013 (blue line)