"Economists are pessimists: they've predicted 8 of the last 3 depressions."
--Barry Asmus

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Thursday, August 4, 2011

First Time Jobless Claims

It's that time of the week already.  So let's brace ourselves for the last bit of employment data we get before tomorrow's Employment Situation report - the oft-revised First Time Jobless Claims!
Last week, the seasonally adjusted initial claims figures for the week ending 7/23 came in at 398,000.  Which nicely beat expectations (except for that pesky 87.81% chance that it will be revised upwards today).  Actual initial claims fell as well, dropping to a level of 366,578, with the total number of people claiming benefits in all programs for the week ending 7/9 rising to 7,645,601.
And what are the Econoday-surveyed analysts thinking for the week ending 7/30?  They're thinking that we'll see an uptick in the number of people filing for benefits, and the consensus prediction is for a seasonally-adjusted 403,000 new claims.  But are they right?  Let's go to the Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report and find out.
First off, to nobody's surprise, the figures for 7/23 were revised upwards to 401,000 new claims[1].  The advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for the week ending 7/30 then comes in at 401,000, beating expectations by 2000.  The unadjusted initial claims for the same period come in at 339,348, a decline of 27,230.  And the total number of people claiming benefits in all programs for the week ending 7/16 comes in at 7,570,439 (a decline of 75,162).
All things considered, this wasn't too bad a report.
[1]  Still beating last week's expected 423k new claims, but also meaning that we now have 19 upward adjustments out of 23 total weeks

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