So the last two weeks are supposed to have been flukes. We’ll see about that today — or maybe it will be three “flukes” in a row.
Seasonal adjustment factors:
- Week ended Dec. 21, 2013 — 125.0
- Week ended Dec. 22, 2012 — 122.6
- Week ended Dec. 14, 2013 — 414,002 (before likely upward revision; Update: revised up to 414,079, enough to move last week’s seasonally adjusted result to 380,000, per the Department of Labor’s detailed tables)
- Week ended Dec. 22, 2012 — 457,578
For Bloomberg’s 345,000 in seasonally adjusted claims to come true, raw claims will have to be 423,000 or lower (423K divided by 1.226 is 345K rounded). That would be about 7.5 percent below last year, after a previous week during which year-over-year claims increased by 3.1 percent. It seems pretty likely that that the actual seasonally adjusted result will be higher.
The report will be here at 8:30 a.m.
HERE IT IS (permanent link): This report’s ability to go in the opposite direction of what one might expect is uncanny —
SEASONALLY ADJUSTED DATA
In the week ending December 21, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 338,000, a decrease of 42,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 380,000. The 4-week moving average was 348,000, an increase of 4,250 from the previous week’s revised average of 343,750.
The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 413,920 in the week ending December 21, a decrease of 159 from the previous week. There were 457,578 initial claims in the comparable week in 2012.
At best, this is a return to a “new normal” of 340K (after next week’s likely upward revision) to 350K.
At worst, we’ll be seeing a bigger wave of layoffs next week if employers waited until Monday and Tuesday of this week to deliver their layoff news.