October 6, 2011

Initial Unemployment Claims: Back Above 400K SA, Previous Week Revised Up to 395K; NSA 323K, Down 12% from 2010

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:30 am

From the Department of Labor:


In the week ending October 1, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 401,000, an increase of 6,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 395,000. The 4-week moving average was 414,000, a decrease of 4,000 from the previous week’s revised average of 418,000.


The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 329,029 in the week ending October 1, an increase of 956 from the previous week. There were 373,681 initial claims in the comparable week in 2010.

Business Insider’s email predicted 410K, as did Reuters, as did Bloomberg. The Associated Press had 411,000. Well, they’ll roughly split the difference if next week’s revision follows the pattern of the past seven months.

Interpretations vary:

  • Reuters — “(the report) hinted at an improvement in labor market conditions.”
  • Bloomberg — “companies may be starting to slow the pace of dismissals.”
  • AP’s Chris Rugaber – ”a sign that the job market remains weak.” Rugaber’s report sticks with AP’s consensus estimate of 56,000 jobs added in tomorrow’s jobs report.
  • Zero Hedge — “the economy is not creating jobs.”

ZH also notes that “this is the 26th consecutive week of claims of 395,000 (or more).” Indeed:


Given that 375,000 is generally considered the highest initial claims level indicating possible meaningful employment growth (I think it’s more like 350K, and that the press has quietly moved the goalposts), and that we’re not there a full nine quarters into an alleged “recovery,” it’s still more than fair to ask “Rebound? What Rebound?


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