July 10, 2014

Initial Unemployment Claims (071014): 304K SA; Raw Claims Down 16% From Same Week Last Year

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 7:52 am

Last week’s number got crowded out a bit by the monthly jobs report, but it was 315,000 seasonally adjusted claims, which was pretty typical of what has been seen during the past several weeks.

Prediction for today:

  • Bloomberg — a repeat performance of 315,000 seasonally adjusted claims.
  • Business Insider didn’t bother with a prediction.

Seasonal Adjustment Factors:

  • Week Ended July 5, 2014 — 108.8
  • Week Ended July 6, 2013 — 105.9

Raw Claims:

  • Week Ended July 5, 2014 — 305,385
  • Week Ended July 13, 2013 — 410,974

For seasonally adjusted claims to come in at or below Bloomberg’s prediction, raw claims will need to be 334,000 or lower (334K divided by 1.059 is 315K, rounded (figures were adjusted at 8:35 to reflect correct seasonally adjustment factor. — Ed.).

That should be a breeze, even with the July 4 holiday. A sub-300K seasonally adjusted reading is what we should expect in the circumstances, and it should be considered a disappointment if it doesn’t arrive.

We’ll see what transpires here at 8:30.



In the week ending July 5, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 304,000, a decrease of 11,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level of 315,000. The 4-week moving average was 311,500, a decrease of 3,500 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 315,000.


The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 322,248 in the week ending July 5, an increase of 16,542 (or +5.4 percent) from the previous week. The seasonal factors had expected an increase of 28,394 (or + 9.3 percent) from the previous week. There were 383,811 initial claims in the comparable week in 2013.

So the disappointment is only mild. Although yours truly is going to continue to follow this stat for the time being, initial claims doesn’t mean what it once did, because of structural changes in the labor market detailed here by James Pethokoukis. Basically, labor market dynamism is in the tank.


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