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posted on 11 June 2015

06 June 2015 Initial Unemployment Claims Rolling Average Again Marginally Worsens

Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims

The market was expecting the weekly initial unemployment claims at 270,000 to 280,000 (consensus 275,000) vs the 279,000 reported. The more important (because of the volatility in the weekly reported claims and seasonality errors in adjusting the data) 4 week moving average moved from 275,000 (reported last week as 274,750) to 278,750. The rolling averages have been equal to or under 300,000 for most of the last 7 months.

It should be pointed out that Econintersect watches the year-over-year change on the 4 week moving average. There is always some seasonality which migrates into the seasonally adjusted data, and year-over-year comparisons helps remove some seasonality. The four week rolling average of initial claims are 11.7% lower (marginally better than the 11.5% for last week) than they were in this same week in 2014 (see chart below).

Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims - 4 Week Average - Seasonally Adjusted - 2011 (red line), 2012 (green line), 2013 (blue line), 2014 (orange line). 2015 (violet line)

Claim levels remain near 40 year lows (with 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 June 6, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 279,000, an increase of 2,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised up by 1,000 from 276,000 to 277,000. The 4-week moving average was 278,750, an increase of 3,750 from the previous week's revised average. The previous week's average was revised up by 250 from 274,750 to 275,000. There were no special factors impacting this week's initial claims.

The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.7 percent for the week ending May 30, an increase of 0.1 percentage point from the previous week's unrevised rate. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending May 30 was 2,265,000, an increase of 61,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised up 8,000 from 2,196,000 to 2,204,000. The 4-week moving average was 2,226,750, an increase of 10,500 from the previous week's revised average. The previous week's average was revised up by 2,000 from 2,214,250 to 2,216,250.

Steven Hansen



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