Thursday, March 01, 2012

Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims decline slightly to 351,000

by Calculated Risk on 3/01/2012 08:30:00 AM

The DOL reports:

In the week ending February 25, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 351,000, a decrease of 2,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 353,000. The 4-week moving average was 354,000, a decrease of 5,500 from the previous week's revised average of 359,500.
The previous week was revised up to 353,000 from 351,000.

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 decreased this week to 354,000.

The 4-week moving average is at the lowest level since early 2008.

And here is a long term graph of weekly claims:

The 4-week average of weekly claims is still moving down.

Note: Nomura analysts recently argued some of the recent improvement is related to seasonal distortions, see Financial Times Alphaville: US jobs and seasonality: the DeLorean edition.

All current Employment Graphs