This report has been a source of frustration for several weeks, as California and sometimes other states have not consistently been turning in up-to-date data.
Perhaps that problem will finally be overcome today. Attempting to filter out that noise, and even after factoring in the negative effect of the 17 percent partial government shutdown, it’s still safe to say that weekly seasonally adjusted claims have been heading in the wrong direction.
Today *should* be different, one would think, because the week involved is the first full week of business after the partial shutdown ended.
Seasonal adjustment factors:
- Week ended Oct. 26, 2013 — 93.5
- Week ended Oct. 27, 2012 — 92.7
- Week ended Oct. 19, 2013 — 310,814 (before revision)
- Week ended Oct. 27, 2012 — 339,917
For the prediction to come true, raw claims will have to be 316,000 or lower (316K divided by .935 is 338K, rounded). That seems eminently achievable, and I would hope that today’s news is of a result significantly better than expectations — muddied by the processing factors described above.
The report will be here at 8:30 a.m.
HERE IT IS (permanent link): Basically on target –
SEASONALLY ADJUSTED DATA
In the week ending October 26, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 340,000, a decrease of 10,000 from the previous week’s unrevised figure of 350,000. The 4-week moving average was 356,250, an increase of 8,000 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 348,250.
The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 317,580 in the week ending October 26, an increase of 6,064 from the previous week. There were 339,917 initial claims in the comparable week in 2012.
I would tend to agree with Steve in the comments that we’re in a “new normal” of 340K-350K in claims, which I consider an unacceptable level.
I should note that “covered employment,” the number of people who would be eligible for unemployment benefits if they were to be laid off, ticked up slightly a few weeks ago to 130.4 million from 129.8 million. That’s still 2.7 percent below the 133.9 million peak seen five years ago, and is one of the more obvious indicators that this “recovery” has been painfully and historically awful.
UPDATE: In a welcome bit of news from Ohio, where the news outside of Metro Columbus has been mostly not good for some time, weekly claims declined by 2,164 and 1,115 during the weeks ended Oct. 12 and 19, respectively, to 9,152. That’s a 19% drop from the 11,303 seen during the same week last year.
That said, the Buckeye State’s covered workforce, which dropped a bit a few weeks ago to 4.940 million, is still 5.8 percent below its 5.243 million mid-2007 peak — over twice the national shortfall.
UPDATE 2: Zero Hedge says that California finally caught up with its claims backlog a week ago.