January 31, 2013

Initial Unemployment Claims: 368K SA; 367K NSA, a 13% Year-Over-Year Drop

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:38 am

Here’s the link to DOL’s report.

I’ll have more on this shortly. …

… Okay, here are key paragraphs from DOL’s report:


In the week ending January 26, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 368,000, an increase of 38,000 from the previous week’s unrevised figure of 330,000. The 4-week moving average was 352,000, an increase of 250 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 351,750.


The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 366,596 in the week ending January 26, a decrease of 70,429 from the previous week. There were 422,287 initial claims in the comparable week in 2012.

As explained last week, a rise was a given, because the seasonal conversion factor for this week was 99.5 vs. much higher factors in previous weeks.

The 13% drop-off in raw claims from last year is far more than I expected, given that the two previous weeks (here and here) showed year-over-year increases in raw claims. I’m going to look around a bit to see if DOL is going to tell us if any states’ numbers were estimated. I also expect that we’ll see a return to the land of upward revisions starting next week. (see update)


UPDATE: According to Bloomberg, analysts expected the seasonally adjusted number to come in at 350,000. It also reported that “No states estimated their claims figures last week.” Okay, I guess that means we should expect no prior-week revision next week.

As Steve notes in the comments, next week will have all the MLK and post-holiday noise flushed out, and we’ll be able to compare 2013 vs. 2012 raw claims for full business weeks. Next week’s seasonal adjustment factor is about 2.4% lower than last year’s (105.6 vs. 108.2). Raw claims for the week ended February 4 were 401K. If raw claims next week are about the same as this week’s 366K, seasonally adjusted claims will come in at 347K, and there will be renewed media dancing in the streets.

We’ll see.



  1. While it was worse than what the markets expected, it’s better than I expected with the seasoning far less favorable than the 2 prior weeks. Guess we’ll have to wait until next week to see what’s “real”.

    Comment by steveegg — January 31, 2013 @ 8:43 am

  2. In related news to be filed under “Just Desserts”



    So the same publication that sold its soul in 2008 to present Obama as the only hope for our economy, begins 2013 with a round of massive layoffs.

    So the same publication that assured us Obama trickle-down government policies were the magic beans that would grow us into the lush life, begins 2013 with a round of massive layoffs.

    So the same publication that assured us all throughout the 2012 election that our economy was humming and there was no need to find new management, begins 2013 with a round of massive layoffs.

    Yeah, that’s a shame.

    And I’m sure I speak for the millions of chronically unemployed when I say, “Welcome to the economy you dropped on the rest of us.”

    So would this be an increase of “social progress or human happiness” for the laid off Time workers who no doubt will be receiving unemployment checks for the next 2 years? Is that Equality of Outcome policy working out like you expected or was your vision a bit too limited at the possibilities of more time on your hands?

    I do believe it is time to start mocking Bloomberg.

    Social Progress Index, the sum of % of food stamp recipients, + the % of part time workers wanting full time jobs and + the % of Medicaid recipients.

    % = the factional part of the whole population.

    Human Happiness Index, Annual murder rate (total number) in Chicago/Annual death toll of US troops in Afghanistan.

    /darkly sarcastic/

    Comment by dscott — January 31, 2013 @ 12:53 pm

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