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--Barry Asmus

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Thursday, July 7, 2011

First Time Jobless Claims

My goodness.  Is it Thursday already?  Amazing how time flies on a short week.
Anyway, if it's Thursday, it's time for First Time Jobless Claims.  If you recall from last week we missed expectations by 8000, with initial claims for the week ending 6/25 coming in at 428,000.  Actual initial claims came in at 403,284 (up 8,998), and the total number of people claiming benefits in all programs for the week ending 6/11 came in at 7,511,613.
The Econoday-surveyed analysts, refusing to be daunted, are once again calling for "only" 420,000 initial claims for the week ending 7/2.  This is the same figure they've predicted for 6/25, 6/11, and 5/28, so its starting to look less like a consensus estimate and more like "even a stopped clock is right twice a day".  Nevertheless, let's see if this is one of those two times.
Looking at the report, it appears that I was somewhat unfair to those Econoday analysts.  We do start off by noting that the initial claims for 6/25 have been adjusted upwards from 428,000 to 432,000.  Next, we see that the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for the week ending 7/2 is 418,000, beating expectations by 2000.  The actual initial claims for the same week, however, are up 13,514 to a level of 416,798.  And the total number of people claiming benefits in all programs for the week ending 6/18 fell 52,052 to a level of 7,459,561.  We'll have to wait until tomorrow, when the Employment Situation report comes out, to get a sense of how many of those people that stopped claiming benefits did so because they got back to work.

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