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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims at 361,000

by Calculated Risk on 12/20/2012 08:30:00 AM

The DOL reports:

In the week ending December 15, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 361,000, an increase of 17,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 344,000. The 4-week moving average was 367,750, a decrease of 13,750 from the previous week's unrevised average of 381,500.
The previous week was revised up from 343,000.

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 367,750.

The recent spike 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 back to the pre-storm level.

Weekly claims were slightly higher than the 359,000 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 again next week, perhaps to a new low for the year. The low for the year is 363,000.

All current Employment Graphs