Initial Unemployment Claims (082114): 298K SA, Raw Claims Below 250,000 For Second Week in Past Three
- Bloomberg — “Data today will show initial claims for unemployment benefits declined last week.” Last week’s figure, pending possible adjustments today, was 311,000 seasonally adjusted claims.
- Post-release update — Business Insider predicted 303K.
Seasonal Adjustment Factors:
- Week ended August 16, 2014 — 83.4
- Week ended August 17, 2013 — 83.3
- Week ended August 9, 2014 — 268,637
- Week ended August 17, 2013 — 281,164
For seasonally adjusted claims to match or decline from last week’s 311,000, raw claims will need to be 259,000 or lower (259K divided by .834 is 311K, rounded).
That seems about right. If raw claims are above last week’s figure, it will be cause for a bit of concern. If they beat last year’s same week, it will justify significant concern.
We’ll see what happens here at 8:30.
HERE IT IS (permanent link), and it’s pretty strong —
SEASONALLY ADJUSTED DATA
In the week ending August 16, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 298,000, a decrease of 14,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised up by 1,000 from 311,000 to 312,000. The 4-week moving average was 300,750, an increase of 4,750 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised up by 250 from 295,750 to 296,000.
… UNADJUSTED DATA
The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 248,759 in the week ending August 16, a decrease of 20,709 (or -7.7 percent) from the previous week. The seasonal factors had expected a decrease of 9,357 (or -3.5 percent) from the previous week. There were 281,164 initial claims in the comparable week in 2013.
This is the second week in the past three where raw claims have come in below a quarter-million (pending possible adjustment to this week’s raw number).
There’s nothing troubling here. Whether this translates into a lower unemployment rate is another matter, but it’s obvious that layoffs and involuntary terminations have pulled back to roughly where you’d like to see them stay.