Thursday, January 07, 2010

Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims

by Bill McBride on 1/07/2010 08:30:00 AM

The DOL reports on weekly unemployment insurance claims:

In the week ending Jan. 2, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 434,000, an increase of 1,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 433,000. The 4-week moving average was 450,250, a decrease of 10,250 from the previous week's revised average of 460,500.
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The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending Dec. 26 was 4,802,000, a decrease of 179,000 from the preceding week's unrevised level of 4,981,000.
Weekly Unemployment Claims Click on graph for larger image in new window.

This graph shows the 4-week moving average of weekly claims since 1971.

The four-week average of weekly unemployment claims decreased this week by 10,250 to 450,250. This is the lowest level since September 2008.

The decline in the 4-week average is good news, although the level is still relatively high and suggests continued job losses, or at best, minimal job gains. Also we have also to be careful because the data can be volatile during the holidays with large seasonal adjustments.