Note: Due to other commitments, comments on the report to be releasd at 8:30 a.m. won’t get posted until late morning.
Predictions: None were available late Wednesday night when this post was drafted.
Seasonal adjustment factors:
Week ended Jan. 18, 2014 — 126.1
Week ended Jan. 19, 2013 — 127.3
Week ended Jan. 11, 2014 — 534,431 (pending revision)
Week ended Jan. 19, 2013 — 436,955
To meet or beat last week’s 326,000 in seasonally adjusted claims (pending revision), raw claims will have to be 411,000 or lower (411K divided by 1.261 is 326K, rounded).
That would be a 23% drop from the previous week, and would seem at first glance to be a long shot. But … last year’s analogous drop was 21.5%, so it could happen. All of the let-gos from the Christmas season were probably complete last week.
We’ll find out here on Thursday morning at 8:30.
HERE IT IS (permanent link):
SEASONALLY ADJUSTED DATA
In the week ending January 18, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 326,000, an increase of 1,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 325,000. The 4-week moving average was 331,500, a decrease of 3,750 from the previous week’s revised average of 335,250.
… UNADJUSTED DATA
The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 411,678 in the week ending January 18, a decrease of 121,020 from the previous week. There were 436,955 initial claims in the comparable week in 2013.
Not bad, but it is time for the occasional reminder that — thanks to the weak “recovery,” covered employment, as in those eligible for benefits if they get laid off, is still only 130.9 million (it just went up a bit after 1/1), which is 2.2% off the peak of 133.9 million seen in late 2008. In other words, the current numbers are about 7,000 claims per week lower than they would be if covered employment was back to where is was over fiver very long years ago.