Business Insider’s prediction is 332,000 seasonally adjusted claims.
I’ll look at details after excerpting the report.
Here it is — a very big “oops.” Make that a very big “uh-oh”:
SEASONALLY ADJUSTED DATA
In the week ending December 14, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 379,000, an increase of 10,000 from the previous week’s figure of 369,000. The 4-week moving average was 343,500, an increase of 13,250 from the previous week’s revised average of 330,250.
… UNADJUSTED DATA
The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 414,002 in the week ending December 14, a decrease of 48,196 from the previous week. There were 401,429 initial claims in the comparable week in 2012.
I believe this is one of the first times, if not the first time, in several years that there has been a year-over-year increase in raw claims in a week not affected by storms or the timing of holidays.
Obamacare anyone???? Specifically, the No-Growth Obamacare Christmas yours truly feared may be coming to pass.
The seasonal adjustment factors are pretty comparable (109.6 for the week of 12/15/12 vs. 109.1 for 12/14/13).
Last week was partially (but only partially) explained away because it was the week after Thanksgiving, meaning that they was carryover from the two-day holiday. That excuse isn’t available this week. If anything, you could argue that the compressed Christmas shopping season should have made retailers and those who supply them reluctant to let people go — if business conditions were good. But they’re apparently not.
UPDATE: Zero Hedge says that “BLS Blames Holiday Volatility.” That’s BS from BLS.