January 16, 2014

Initial Unemployment Claims (011614): 326K SA; Raw Claims Only 4% Lower Than Same Week Last Year

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:24 am

Predictions:

Seasonal Adjustment Factors:

  • Week ended Jan. 11, 2014 — 164.1
  • Week ended Jan. 12, 2013 — 159.1

Raw claims:

  • Week ended Jan. 4, 2014 — 483,241, per DOL’s detailed history listing available here (DOWN from the original 486,033 last week, which should reduce last week’s seasonally adjusted figure to about 327,000)
  • Week ended Jan. 12, 2013 — 556,621

That 164.1 is a HUGE seasonal deflator.

For Bloomberg’s 330K prediction to come true, raw claims will have to be 542K or lower (542K divided by 1.641 is 330K, rounded).

Today’s raw claims had better be wayyyyyy lower than that – lower than 500K, I would hope, which would translate into a seasonally adjusted 304K — or it will in my view be a potential sign of serious trouble. And yes, I know that this is a week which has traditionally shown high raw claims. But seasonal hiring for Christmas shopping season was not as high as it has been in the past.

The report will be here at 8:30.

HERE IT IS (permanent link):

In the week ending January 11, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 326,000, a decrease of 2,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 328,000. The 4-week moving average was 335,000, a decrease of 13,500 from the previous week’s revised average of 348,500.

… UNADJUSTED DATA

The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 534,431 in the week ending January 11, an increase of 51,190 from the previous week. There were 556,621 initial claims in the comparable week in 2013.

This will be spun as okay news. I don’t think it is.

If last year’s seasonal deflator had been used on this week’s raw claims, the seasonally adjusted result would have been 336,00 (534,431 divided by 1.591, rounded), or 6,000 claims higher.

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