In the week ending December 3, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 381,000, a decrease of 23,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 404,000. The 4-week moving average was 393,250, a decrease of 3,000 from the previous week's revised average of 396,250.
That's good, right?
The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 523,642 in the week ending December 3, an increase of 151,002 from the previous week. There were 585,711 initial claims in the comparable week in 2010.
Heh wait a second! Actual numbers were up by 151,002 from last week and totaled over 500,000?! My that's a nice "seasonal adjustment" you have there (~30%?!)
The market appears to have figured it out fast and is now tanking. Or maybe that's Europe. Who knows -- other than the fact that the spike high that came from the announcement has now disappeared and we're trading down some 10 handles on the S&P from the "exuberant" high print.
There's another interesting anomaly in the report too -- in the "big table" the regular claims numbers were down 207,000 for November 19th, and over 200,000 more in the EUC and Extended benefit columns. Was that actual people finding jobs in front of Thanksgiving or is there a mass roll-off of people from the unemployment benefit rolls?
This much is certain: There's no support for the premise that it was "found jobs" in the employment report last week and that, in turn, means that on a forward basis I hope you're not looking for anything good in the economic statistics to come.
Where We Are, Where We're Heading (2013) - The annual 2013 Ticker
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