Initial Unemployment Claims: Big Drop to 339K SA; Previous Week Revised Up (of Course) by 4K; NSA Down 25% from Last Year (UPDATE: One ‘Large State’ Missing)
UPDATE: See this later post — California didn’t turn in 15,000 – 25,000 claims. Imagine that.
SEASONALLY ADJUSTED DATA
In the week ending October 6, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 339,000, a decrease of 30,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 369,000. The 4-week moving average was 364,000, a decrease of 11,500 from the previous week’s revised average of 375,500.
… UNADJUSTED DATA
The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 327,063 in the week ending October 6, an increase of 25,990 from the previous week. There were 405,906 initial claims in the comparable week in 2011.
The seasonal factors used were 96.4 this year and 100.9 for the comparable week last year. This year’s seasonally adjusted figure would have been about 15,000 lower if last year’s factor had been used.
So is it for real, or just another example of the Department of Labor telling how really, really bad President Obama’s debate performance was? Zero Hedge’s headline is that the “Data Massaging Continues.” I say look out for the size of next week’s inevitable upward adjustment, year-over-year changes in the state figures (which always trail by a week), and anything that might happen to the overall figure (which has been known to occur) in the report which comes out in two weeks.
UPDATE: O … M … G — in the Wall Street Journal: “There was a caveat to the upbeat report, however, as one large state didn’t report additional quarterly figures as expected, accounting for a substantial part of the drop, the Labor Department noted.” How convenient — and what “quarterly figures” have to do with a weekly report is a complete mystery.
A “large state” (assuming “large” refers to population) would most likely be one of the following: California (running at about 50,000 claims per week), Florida (13K), Georgia (10K), Illinois (12K), Michigan (10K), New York (22K), North Carolina (10K), Ohio (10K), Pennsylvania (19K), or Texas (16K). Zheesh.