initial claims

Initial weekly unemployment claims for September 18, 2010

I hate initial weekly unemployment claims as an economic metric. It is a volatile number, subject to revisions, and has much statistical noise. That said, every single week, over and over, we are simply not seeing initial unemployment claims really drop. One has to wonder where all these people are coming from and has every single American at this point been fired from a job?

Initial weekly unemployment claims for August 14, 2010

While initial weekly unemployment claims is a volatile number, subject to revisions, today's report is not good news. Initial weekly unemployment claims hit the magic number, 500,000. From the jobless claims report:

In the week ending Aug. 14, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 500,000, an increase of 12,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 488,000. The 4-week moving average was 482,500, an increase of 8,000 from the previous week's revised average of 474,500.

Below is the log of initial weekly unemployment claims, so one can get a better sense of the rise and fall of the numbers. A log helps remove some statistical noise. As we can see we have a step rise during the height of the recession, but then a leveling, not a similar decline and now this increase. This does not bode well for any sort of real recovery, which must include jobs.


initial claims aug 14 log


Below is a graph of initial weekly unemployment claims since November 2009. As you can see, we're literally back to 10 months ago.


initial claims aug 14 10 months


Links on Retail Sales and Unemployment Initial Claims

Normally we write our own take on various economic indicators and data on EP...

Tonight, I'm tired and instead am going to point to some very good posts, which I think give some insight.

On today's jump in initial unemployment claims, complete with original graphs, Calculated Risk.

Here is the DOL press release on this week's unemployment claims.

U.S. Dept. of Commerce's press release on retail sales.

retail sales July 2009