Thursday, June 03, 2010

Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims at 453,000

by Bill McBride on 6/03/2010 08:30:00 AM

The DOL reports on weekly unemployment insurance claims:

In the week ending May 29, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 453,000, a decrease of 10,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 463,000. The 4-week moving average was 459,000, an increase of 1,750 from the previous week's revised average of 457,250.
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The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending May 22 was 4,666,000, an increase of 31,000 from the preceding week's revised level of 4,635,000.
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 increased this week by 1,750 to 459,000.

The dashed line on the graph is the current 4-week average. The current level of 453,000 (and 4-week average of 459,000) is still high, and suggests ongoing weakness in the labor market.

David Greenlaw at Morgan Stanley offered some possible reasons that claims have stayed elevated such as more ineligible filers and that "construction workers tend to file more frequently", although I'm not convinced. This is still disappointing ... the 4-week average has been moving sideways since December.