SEASONALLY ADJUSTED DATA
In the week ending March 21, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 282,000, a decrease of 9,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level of 291,000. The 4-week moving average was 297,000, a decrease of 7,750 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 304,750.
The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 247,256 in the week ending March 21, a decrease of 12,986 (or -5.0 percent) from the previous week. The seasonal factors had expected a decrease of 4,371 (or -1.7 percent) from the previous week. There were 274,072 initial claims in the comparable week in 2014.
According to Yahoo Business’s Economic Calendar, the result beat expectations of 290,000, while Briefing.com predicted 300,000.
There was no meaningful difference in the seasonal adjustment factors (88.5 during same week last year, 87.8 for the current week).
The raw claims number is enouraging.
Although I do need to remind readers every once in a while that “covered employment” — the number of people eliigible for unemployment benefits if they are laid off or let go without cause (133.40 million) — is still lower than it was at its peak six years ago (133.90 million), today’s result is very good.