Blue Line 4 Week Average
The market was expecting the weekly initial unemployment claims at 280,000 to 290,000 (consensus 283,000) vs the 278,000 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 281,250 (reported last week as 281,000) to 279,000.
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 20.2% lower (marginally worse than the 21.5% reported last week) than they were in this same week in 2013 (see chart below).
2014 claim levels are now 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 November 1, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 278,000, a decrease of 10,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised up by 1,000 from 287,000 to 288,000. The 4-week moving average was 279,000, a decrease of 2,250 from the previous week’s revised average. This is the lowest level for this average since April 29, 2000 when it was 273,000. The previous week’s average was revised up by 250 from 281,000 to 281,250. There were no special factors impacting this week’s initial claims.
The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.8 percent for the week ending October 25, unchanged from the previous week’s unrevised rate. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending October 25 was 2,348,000, a decrease of 39,000 from the previous week’s revised level. This is the lowest level for insured unemployment since December 23, 2000 when it was 2,340,000. The previous week’s level was revised up 3,000 from 2,384,000 to 2,387,000. The 4-week moving average was 2,369,750, a decrease of 8,500 from the previous week’s revised average. This is the lowest level for this average since January 13, 2001 when it was 2,360,500. The previous week’s average was revised up by 750 from 2,377,500 to 2,378,250.
Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims – 4 Week Average – Seasonally Adjusted – 2011 (red line), 2012 (green line), 2013 (blue line), 2014 (orange line)