Blue Line 4 Week Average
The weekly claims were the lowest since the beginning of 2006. The market was expecting 335,000 to 340,000 vs the 309,000 reported. The more important (because of the volatility in the weekly reported claims and seasonality errors in adjusting the data) 4 week moving average improved, moving from 321,250 (reported last week) to 314,750.
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 16.8% lower (better than the 14.5% last week) than they were in this week in 2012.
The rate of improvement this week is compariable 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 September 14, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 309,000, an increase of 15,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 294,000. The 4-week moving average was 314,750, a decrease of 7,000 from the previous week’s revised average of 321,750.
The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.1 percent for the week ending September 7, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point from the prior week’s unrevised rate. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending September 7 was 2,787,000, a decrease of 28,000 from the preceding week’s revised level of 2,815,000. The 4-week moving average was 2,885,000, a decrease of 54,000 from the preceding week’s revised average of 2,939,000.
Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims – 4 Week Average – Seasonally Adjusted – 2011 (red line), 2012 (green line), 2013 (blue line)