Wednesday, November 06, 2013

California and Weekly Unemployment Claims

by Calculated Risk on 11/06/2013 04:38:00 PM

From the LA Times: Officials unaware of benefits foul-up for 2 weeks

[Following the Labor Day launch] It took two weeks for officials at California's Employment Development Department to realize there were problems with their software upgrade, according to testimony at the oversight hearing Wednesday.
Here is a table of weekly claims (seasonally adjusted) from the beginning of August.

Week EndingWeekly Claims, SA
8/3/13335000
8/10/13322000
8/17/13337000
8/24/13333000
8/31/13323000
9/7/13294000***
9/14/13311000
9/21/13307000
9/28/13308000
10/5/13373000
10/12/13362000
10/19/13350000
10/26/13340000
*** California Computer Upgrade


Claims averaged 330 thousand for the five weeks prior to the computer upgrade in California. Then claims dropped sharply to 294,000 and stayed low for four week. Then claims moved sharply higher as the problems in California were resolved.

Over the last eight weeks, claims have 330 thousand - the same as in August.  My guess is we should just average the last eight weeks - and basically claims have been moving sideways for the last several months.  In the employment preview for October, I suggested the increase in claims in October was probably not useful information this month because of the computer problems in California.