Thursday, December 13, 2012

Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims decline to 343,000

by Bill McBride on 12/13/2012 08:37:00 AM

The DOL reports:

In the week ending December 8, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 343,000, a decrease of 29,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 372,000. The 4-week moving average was 381,500, a decrease of 27,000 from the previous week's revised average of 408,500.
The previous week was revised up from 370,000.

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 381,500.

The recent sharp increase 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 almost back to the pre-storm level.

Weekly claims were lower than the 370,000 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 next week to around 370,000 or so.


All current Employment Graphs

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