Thanks to sloppiness about posting of claims, this report has been losing its value during the past several weeks.
It’s probably too much to expect that we might get assurances, now that computer “upgrades” in certain states are hopefully out of the way, that from this point forward reported claims will actually tie to the week they were submitted by people applying for benefits as opposed to when they were entered.
Maybe that explains why I couldn’t find any predictions at Bloomberg or Reuters. (Update: Business Insider has a prediction of 335,000 seasonally adjusted claims.)
Last week’s result was 358,000 seasonally adjusted claims, down from 373,000 the previous week.
Seasonal adjustment factors:
- Week ended Oct. 19, 2013 — 88.9
- Week ended Oct. 20, 2012 — 92.7
- Week ended Oct. 12, 2013 — 357,041
- Week ended Oct. 20, 2012 — 345,226
To match last week’s 358K, raw claims will have to be 318K. To match Business Insider’s prediction of 335K, raw claims will have to be 298K. Each seems ambitious, but thanks to the noise of the past several weeks, there’s no solid basis for an attempted prediction.
The report will be here at 8:30.
HERE IT IS (Permanent Link):
SEASONALLY ADJUSTED DATA
In the week ending October 19, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 350,000, a decrease of 12,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 362,000. The 4-week moving average was 348,250, an increase of 10,750 from the previous week’s revised average of 337,500.
The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 310,814 in the week ending October 19, a decrease of 49,905 from the previous week. There were 345,226 initial claims in the comparable week in 2012.
That’s definitely a miss compared to expectations, though raw claims are 10% below last year.
If last year’s seasonal factor has been used on this year’s raw claims, seasonally adjusted claims would have been 15,000 lower (310,814 divided by .927 is 335K, rounded).
As best as anyone can tell in this data-muddled mess, the four-week moving average of 348K probably reflects where we are, and it isn’t all that impressive, or reflective of some grand improvement.
UPDATE: Zero Hedge –
With claims from the backlog in California’s systems “glitch” (which began in September) still working their way through the system, one can only imagine the debacle that this data really is as more people filed for unemployment claims that expected for the 3rd week in a row. 44,100 Federal workers applied for claims two weeks ago (and received it we presume as well as their back pay now).