November 15, 2012

Unemployment Claims (111512) Spike to 438K SA; Sandy Doesn’t Deserve All of the Blame

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:49 am

The DOL release is here.

More in a bit. …

UPDATE: Here are the key paragraphs from the release —


In the week ending November 10, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 439,000, an increase of 78,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 361,000. The 4-week moving average was 383,750, an increase of 11,750 from the previous week’s revised average of 372,000.

The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.6 percent for the week ending November 3, an increase of 0.1 percentage point from the prior week’s revised rate. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending November 3 was 3,334,000, an increase of 171,000 from the preceding week’s revised level of 3,163,000. The 4-week moving average was 3,254,500, an increase of 17,750 from the preceding week’s revised average of 3,236,750.


The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 466,348 in the week ending November 10, an increase of 104,548 from the previous week. There were 363,016 initial claims in the comparable week in 2011.

The numbers are even worse than they appear because of changes in the seasonal factors. Last year’s for the same week was 103.7; this year’s is 106.2. Last year’s factor applied to this year’s raw number of claims yields a seasonally adjusted result which is 11,000 claims higher (466,348 divided by 1.037 is 450,000, rounded).

Looking at it another way — Before this week’s release, weekly raw claims were running 8%-12% below last year’s comparable weeks. This week is 28% (over 103,000 claims) higher. That’s at least a 36% swing (from -8% to +28%), meaning that this week’s raw claims came in about 130,000 higher than one would have expected (substituting 10% and 12% reductions as the expectation, the figure goes to 138,000 and 145,000, respectively).

Even after considering that last week’s data didn’t include DC and New York (meaning that this week has two weeks of claims for them) I’m not buying that the entire increase is due to the storm.


1 Comment

  1. [...] upward revision to last week was 12,000 (from 439K to [...]

    Pingback by BizzyBlog — November 21, 2012 @ 8:49 am

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