Thursday, May 19, 2011

Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims declines to 409,000, 4-Week average highest since November

by Bill McBride on 5/19/2011 08:30:00 AM

The DOL reports on weekly unemployment insurance claims:

In the week ending May 14, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 409,000, a decrease of 29,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 438,000. The 4-week moving average was 439,000, an increase of 1,250 from the previous week's revised average of 437,750.
Weekly Unemployment Claims Click on graph for larger image in graph gallery.

This graph shows the 4-week moving average of weekly claims for the last 40 years. The dashed line on the graph is the current 4-week average. The four-week average of weekly unemployment claims increased this week to 439,000.

This is the highest level for the 4-week average since last November.

Note: It appears there were some temporary factors over the last few weeks that led to higher weekly unemployment claims. I expect the 4-week average to decline over the next few weeks, but it is concerning that the average is above 400,000 again.
Schedule Update: At 10 AM ET the following will be released:

1) April Existing home sales
2) MBA Q1 Delinquency report
3) Philly Fed manufacturing survey
4) Conference Board leading indicators

I plan on posting on existing home sales. Then I'll be on the MBA conference call - and post on that data - and then I'll get back to the Philly Fed.