Thursday, December 06, 2012

Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims decline to 370,000

by Bill McBride on 12/06/2012 08:30:00 AM

The DOL reports:

In the week ending December 1, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 370,000, a decrease of 25,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 395,000. The 4-week moving average was 408,000, an increase of 2,250 from the previous week's revised average of 405,750.
The previous week was revised up from 393,000.

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 408,000.

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

Weekly claims were lower than the consensus forecast.


And here is a long term graph of weekly claims:

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 next week to around 390,000 and should continue to decline over the next few weeks.


All current Employment Graphs

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