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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Weekly initial unemployment claims decline, 4-week average highest since Nov 2009

by Calculated Risk on 8/26/2010 08:30:00 AM

The DOL reports on weekly unemployment insurance claims:

In the week ending Aug. 21, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 473,000, a decrease of 31,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 504,000. The 4-week moving average was 486,750, an increase of 3,250 from the previous week's revised average of 483,500.

The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending Aug. 14 was 4,456,000, a decrease of 62,000 from the preceding week's revised level of 4,518,000.
Weekly Unemployment Claims Click on graph for larger image in new window.

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

The dashed line on the graph is the current 4-week average. The four-week average of weekly unemployment claims increased this week by 3,250 to 486,750. This is the highest level since November 2009.

Weekly claims are very volatile, and most people follow the 4-week average to smooth out the weekly noise. It is good news that the number of initial claims declined from last week, but the level of claims - and the 4-week average - suggests a weak job market.