Seasonal adjustment factors:
- Week ended March 29, 2014 — 86.2 (revised upon release to 88.8)
- Week ended March 30, 2013 — 81.6 (revised upon release to 84.6)
The difference in seasonal factors is there because Easter was on March 31 last year.
- Week ended March 22, 2014 — 273,411
- Week ended March 30, 2013 — 316,948
To make Bloomberg’s prediction, raw claims will have to be 275,000 or lower (275K divided by .862 is 319K, rounded).
That seems achievable, but there is a wild card, as noted in last week’s release:
Note: Calendar Year (CY) 2014 Seasonal Factors and revised seasonal factors and historical series for CY 2009-2013 for both initial claims and continued claims will be made available April 3, 2014, with the release of the Unemployment Insurance (UI) Weekly Claims News Release.
In addition, beginning April 10, 2014, the UI Weekly Claims News Release will be issued under a revised (.pdf) format. The new version of the release will include graphics and tables for additional information and ease of use.
We’ll see what the impact of all this is here at 8:30.
HERE IT IS (permanent link):
SEASONALLY ADJUSTED DATA
In the week ending March 29, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 326,000, an increase of 16,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 310,000. The 4-week moving average was 319,500, an increase of 250 from the previous week’s revised average of 319,250.
… UNADJUSTED DATA
The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 289,535 in the week ending March 29, an increase of 15,463 from the previous week. There were 317,494 initial claims in the comparable week in 2013.
The change in the seasonal adjustment factor masks a lot of the somewhat substantial 5.6 percent week-to-week increase in raw claims 289,535 divided by a revised 274,072).
If the pre-adjustment seasonal factor had been used, seasonally adjusted claims would have come in at 336,000 (289,535 divided by .862 is 336K, rounded).
The bottom line is that this week’s report went the wrong way. Whether it’s the beginning of a trend in the wrong direction remains to be seen.