June 9, 2011

Weekly Unemployment Claims, the New Normal: 427K, Last Week Revised Up to 426K

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:53 am

At the Department of Labor:

In the week ending June 4, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 427,000, an increase of 1,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 426,000. The 4-week moving average was 424,000, a decrease of 2,750 from the previous week’s revised average of 426,750.

… The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 364,507 in the week ending June 4, a decrease of 16,990 from the previous week. There were 398,864 initial claims in the comparable week in 2010.

The year-over-year drop in raw claims was less than 10%.

Here are the past 14 weeks. Note that every week presented saw an upward revision or two to the original figure:


420k+ claims is not a recipe for decent job or economic growth.


UPDATE: Steve at No Runny Eggs noted in a previous post’s comment that expectations were for 415K. Naturally.

UPDATE 2: At the Associated Press, in its initial 8:40 a.m. report, the big bad bogeyman of the recession’s peak in weekly claims is back —

Applications typically must dip below 375,000 to signal sustainable job growth. They peaked during the recession at 659,000.

That was about 120 weeks ago, guys. Who cares?

UPDATE 3: Hmm — The 659,000-in-recession reference went away in Christopher Rugaber’s longer replacement write-up at the same link at 9:02 a.m.



  1. [...] week’s number revised upward – Check (Tom Blumer notes the prior week’s increase from 422,000 to 426,000 is the 14th week in a row [...]

    Pingback by No Runny Eggs » Blog Archive » Initial unemployment claims continue to disappoint — June 9, 2011 @ 9:08 am

  2. Just saw Bloomberg’s expectations, and they were a bit more optimistic than everybody else at 419K. They, along with Reuters (who used the more-widely-reported 415K), broke out the “unexpected” for the headline/lede of their story.

    Comment by steveegg — June 9, 2011 @ 9:12 am

  3. #2, Bloomberg’s miss was closer but more pessimistic about where the number would be, though the regime may be optimistic about a larger continuing stream of dependents.

    I know — let’s raise the gas tax by 50 cents to a buck a gallon, like GM’s CEO suggested. That’ll push claims to 450-475K. Zheesh.

    Comment by TBlumer — June 9, 2011 @ 9:17 am

  4. #2 BTW, you are doing a great job on monitoring the recall situation in WI, and your predictions a few months ago IIRC were pretty dead-on.

    Comment by TBlumer — June 9, 2011 @ 10:24 am

  5. [...] my friends!!!! In fact, Bizzyblog notes the horrid unemployment figures will be presented as the “new normal.” Add to these data points the fact that the median period for joblessness has hit a new [...]

    Pingback by PALIN TOPS POLL AT 100% « Temple of Mut — June 9, 2011 @ 12:35 pm

  6. I did wholly underestimate the number of recall elections that would be forced, but I’m still confident on my final 2-2 to 3-2 in favor of the Rs flip prediction.

    Comment by steveegg — June 9, 2011 @ 7:29 pm

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