July 31, 2014

Initial Unemployment Claims (073114): 302K SA, Lowest 4-Week SA Average Since 2006

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 7:59 am


  • Business Insider — 305,000 seasonally adjusted claimes, ups from last week’s artificially low 284,000 (artificial because the seasonal adjustment factor was inexplicably higher than the same week 2013, leading the figure to be about 11,000 claims lower than it otherwise would have been).
  • Bloomberg — “The Labor Department’s weekly report on initial claims for jobless benefits today will show applications rose from an eight-year low …”

Seasonal Adjustment Factors:

  • Week ended July 26, 2014 — 85.1
  • Week ended July 27, 2013 — 84.5

Raw Claims:

  • Week ended July 19, 2014 — 292,344
  • Week ended July 27, 2013 — 281,692 (before revision)

To meet or beat the prediction, raw claims will need to be 259.5K or lower (259.5K divided by .851 is 305K, rounded).

That doesn’t seem likely. It would be quite impressive if achieved. I think we’re going to see a seasonally adjusted reading closer to 325K, and we shouldn’t get too concenred unless it goes above 353K (which would require raw claims to top 300,000).

The report will be here at 8:30.

HERE IT IS (permanent PDF link): Well, it’s impressive —


In the week ending July 26, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 302,000, an increase of 23,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised down by 5,000 from 284,000 to 279,000. The 4-week moving average was 297,250, a decrease of 3,500 from the previous week’s revised average. This is the lowest level for this average since April 15, 2006 when it was 296,000. The previous week’s average was revised down by 1,250 from 302,000 to 300,750.


The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 257,210 in the week ending July 26, a decrease of 29,839 (or -10.4 percent) from the previous week. The seasonal factors had expected a decrease of 49,885 (or -17.4 percent) from the previous week. There were 281,692 initial claims in the comparable week in 2013.

Covered employment update: DOL’s interactive tables now indicate that its estimate of “covered employment” — the number of workers who might be able to collect unemployment benefits if laid off or terminated — rose modestly from 131.53 million in the second quarter to 132.15 million in the third.

In another indication that this has been a different, zombielike “recovery,” that figure is still 1.75 million shy of the 133.90 million peake for this figure seen in the final quarter of 2008. That’s depstie the fact that the the 16-and-over population has grown by 14 million in past 5-1/2 years. The seasonally adjusted workforce has only grown by 1 million (not a typo) since the end of 2008. So we have 13 million more adults on the sidelines.


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