July 12, 2012

Unemployment Claims: NO Improvement, Despite Seasonal Appearances

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 7:36 am

I won’t be able to post on this until later this morning.

Reuters has a prediction of 365,000 initial claims vs. 374,000 (before very likely upward adjustment) last week.

That seems awfully optimistic.

UPDATE: I’m able to cut in from where I am.

Well, imagine that. An upside “surprise” (but see below):

SEASONALLY ADJUSTED DATA

In the week ending July 7, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 350,000, a decrease of 26,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 376,000. The 4-week moving average was 376,500, a decrease of 9,750 from the previous week’s revised average of 386,250.

… UNADJUSTED DATA

The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 439,743 in the week ending July 7, an increase of 69,971 from the previous week. There were 473,963 initial claims in the comparable week in 2011.

Oh, for cryin’ out loud, it’s all due to seasonal fudging:

  • This year’s math — 439,743 divided by 1.258 equals 350,000 (rounded).
  • Last year’s math — 473,963 divided by 1.157 equals 410,000 (last year’s number for the week ended July 9
  • This year math using last year’s factor — 439,743 divided by 1.157 equals 380,000. That’s a slight deterioration instead of a big improvement.

Give me a flippin’ break. The factors shouldn’t have changed so much just because July 4 was a Wednesday instead of a Monday, and today’s data doesn’t prove anything except yours truly’s contention that the raw numbers in context are what matters.

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2 Comments

  1. [...] I pointed out yesterday at my home blog, the effect of this change on Thursday’s reported seasonally adjusted result was huge, and in [...]

    Pingback by BizzyBlog — July 14, 2012 @ 6:24 pm

  2. You are too polite to say it, but I’m not:
    The fix is in.

    Obama and his cronies/sympathizers are hard leftists who will do anything to hold on to power. Since the biggest threat to his reelection will come from dour jobs numbers, they’ve taken it on themselves to “adjust” the numbers.

    …keep a wary eye on the upcoming unemployment numbers at the beginning of each month. Look out for unexplained improvements in the jobs situation.

    Comment by Matt — July 15, 2012 @ 3:43 pm

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