Thursday, November 29, 2012

Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims decline to 393,000

by Bill McBride on 11/29/2012 08:30:00 AM

Note: From MarketWatch: U.S. Q3 GDP revised up to 2.7% from 2.0% (I'll have more later on the GDP revision).

The DOL reports:

In the week ending November 24, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 393,000, a decrease of 23,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 416,000. The 4-week moving average was 405,250, an increase of 7,500 from the previous week's revised average of 397,750.
The previous week was revised up from 410,000.

The following graph shows the 4-week moving average of weekly claims since January 2000.

Click on graph for larger image.

The dashed line on the graph is the current 4-week average. The four-week average of weekly unemployment claims increased to 405,250.

This sharp increase in the 4 week average is due to Hurricane Sandy as claims increased significantly in the impacted areas (update: claims increased in NY, NJ and other impacted areas over the 4-week period - some of those areas saw a decline this week). Note the spike in 2005 related to hurricane Katrina - we are seeing a similar impact, although on a smaller scale.

Weekly claims were about at the consensus forecast.

And here is a long term graph of weekly claims:

Mostly moving sideways this year until the recent spike due to Hurricane Sandy. Weekly claims should continue to decline over the next few weeks.

All current Employment Graphs