The market was expecting the weekly initial unemployment claims at 270,000 to 275,000 (consensus 273,000) vs the 271,000 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 277,000 (reported last week as 276,750) to 273,750. The rolling averages generally have been equal to or under 300,000 since August 2014.
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 12.9% lower (marginally better than the 11.5% for last week) than they were in this same week in 2014 (see chart below).
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 20, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 271,000, an increase of 3,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised up by 1,000 from 267,000 to 268,000. The 4-week moving average was 273,750, a decrease of 3,250 from the previous week's revised average. The previous week's average was revised up by 250 from 276,750 to 277,000. 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 June 13, unchanged from the previous week's unrevised rate. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending June 13 was 2,247,000, an increase of 22,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised up 3,000 from 2,222,000 to 2,225,000. The 4-week moving average was 2,237,000, an increase of 5,250 from the previous week's revised average. The previous week's average was revised up by 750 from 2,231,000 to 2,231,750.
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