April 12, 2012

Initial Unemployment Claims: 380K SA (Way Up), 382K NSA; Prior Week SA Revised Up by 10K

This will put an end to the “best in four years” rinse-repeat cycle we’ve seen from the press during the past several weeks.

From the Department of Labor:


In the week ending April 7, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 380,000, an increase of 13,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 367,000. The 4-week moving average was 368,500, an increase of 4,250 from the previous week’s revised average of 364,250.


The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 381,875 in the week ending April 7, an increase of 62,530 from the previous week. There were 448,029 initial claims in the comparable week in 2011.


Business Insider’s prediction was 359K.

Press spin on this should be entertaining.

The most important concern, of course is the real pain Obamanomics continues to cause. Party of compassion my a**.


UPDATE: Trying to compare the seasonal adjustment factors used this year and last year to see if the adjustment skewed the numbers isn’t possible, because this past week included Good Friday, while last year had five regular business days. So of course the factors are very different.

UPDATE 2: Almost lost in the shuffle, and almost certain to be ignored in the press, is the fact that last week’s initial “best in four years” number was revised upward by 10,000.

UPDATE 3: Graphing the past 18 weeks —


UPDATE 4: Catch this comment in response to previous comments made by Steve, and thanks to him for providing the relevant comparative seasonal adjustment factors.



  1. The presstitute spin has already begun. Reuters is back to its “400K means job improvement” manure, and Dow Jones “helpfully” points out that 380K is still near a POR Economy low.

    The AP, on the other hand, at least mentioned that it’s a 2-month high.

    Comment by steveegg — April 12, 2012 @ 9:03 am

  2. Thanks for the heads-up, Steve. 400K? Oh brother.

    Comment by Tom — April 12, 2012 @ 9:06 am

  3. As for comparing seasonal adjustments, try week-ending 4/23/2011 (Easter was 4/24 last year).

    Comment by steveegg — April 12, 2012 @ 9:12 am

  4. Comparing last year and this, it does not appear DOL does a lot of adjusting for Good Friday:

    4/2/2011 – 88.4 seasonal adjustment / 3/31/2012 – 87.1 SA
    4/9/2011 – 107.7 SA / 4/7/2012 (Good Friday week) – 100.6 SA
    4/16/2011 – 92.3 SA / 4/14/2012 – 95.2 SA
    4/23/2011 (Good Friday week) – 91.0 SA / 4/21/2012 – 94.5 SA
    4/30/2011 – 89.6 SA / 4/28/2012 – 90.6 SA

    Comment by steveegg — April 12, 2012 @ 9:19 am

  5. And of course I conflated Western Christian and Orthodox Christian Easter. 4/7/2012 was Good Friday week.

    UPDATE: Fixed. Thx, Steve.

    Comment by steveegg — April 12, 2012 @ 9:24 am

  6. That’s odd. In considering last year’s regular week to this year’s Good Friday, the factor drops by 7 points.

    In consider last year’s Good Friday week to this year’s upcoming regular week, the factor only goes up by 3.5 points.

    If this year’s factor drop had only been 3.5 points, it would have been 104.2, which would have led to a reading of 366K SA (381.875 NSA divided by 104.2, rounded) — which would be no change, but still not impressive, and still above predictions.

    I suppose they could argue that the historical patterns of the two weeks involved ignoring Good Fridays are different, but that seems like a pretty weak argument.

    Two weeks from now, if NSA claims are 370,000, which would be about 5% below the year-ago figure which was a bit lower than a “regular” week because of Good Friday, SA will come in at 392K (370K divided by 94.5). To get SA claims below 370K, NSA claims would have to be about 350K (370 x .945).

    Comment by Tom — April 12, 2012 @ 9:42 am

  7. [...] Initial Unemployment Claims: 380K SA (Way Up), 382K NSA; Prior Week SA Revised Up by 10K [...]

    Pingback by Initial Unemployment Claims: 380K SA (Way Up), 382K NSA; Prior Week SA Revised Up by 10K | PERSUASION IN INK — April 12, 2012 @ 2:00 pm

  8. [...] known that his first point has become questionable with March’s mediocre jobs report and the recent spike in weekly initial unemployment claims to 380,000 (which so happens to be above his colleague [...]

    Pingback by BizzyBlog — April 17, 2012 @ 12:52 pm

  9. [...] week’s SA number of 380,000 was revised upward by [...]

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