by Bill McBride on 12/20/2012 08:30:00 AM
Thursday, December 20, 2012
The DOL reports:
In the week ending December 15, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 361,000, an increase of 17,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 344,000. The 4-week moving average was 367,750, a decrease of 13,750 from the previous week's unrevised average of 381,500.The previous week was revised up from 343,000.
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 declined to 367,750.
The recent spike in the 4 week average was due to Hurricane Sandy as claims increased significantly in NY, NJ and other impacted areas. Now, as expected, the 4-week average is back to the pre-storm level.
Weekly claims were slightly higher than the 359,000 consensus forecast.
And here is a long term graph of weekly claims:
Note: We use the 4-week average to smooth out noise, but following an event like Hurricane Sandy, the 4-week average lags the event. It looks like the average should decline again next week, perhaps to a new low for the year. The low for the year is 363,000.
Posted by Bill McBride on 12/20/2012 08:30:00 AM