posted on 28 July 2016
23 July 2016 Initial Unemployment Claims: Rolling Averages Improves. 73 Consecutive Weeks of Initial Claims Below 300,000.
Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims
The market expectations for weekly initial unemployment claims (from Bloomberg) were 260,000 to 265,000 (consensus 264,000), and the Department of Labor reported 266,000 new claims. 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 257,500 (reported last week as 257,750) to 256,500. 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 6.8 % lower (marginal degradation from the 7.3 % for last week) than they were in this same week in 2015.
Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims - 4 Week Average - Seasonally Adjusted - 2011 (red line), 2012 (green line), 2013 (blue line), 2014 (orange line). 2015 (violet line), 2016 (light blue)
Claim levels are at 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:
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