Weekly Unemployment Claims: Down 2K, Beats Forecast
Here is the opening statement from the Department of Labor:
In the week ending August 11, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 212,000, a decrease of 2,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised up by 1,000 from 213,000 to 214,000. The 4-week moving average was 215,500, an increase of 1,000 from the previous week's revised average. The previous week's average was revised up by 250 from 214,250 to 214,500. [See full report]
This morning's seasonally adjusted 212K new claims, down 2K from the previous week's revised figure, was better than the Investing.com forecast of 215K.
Here is a close look at the data over the decade (with a callout for the past year), which gives a clearer sense of the overall trend in relation to the last recession.
As we can see, there's a good bit of volatility in this indicator, which is why the 4-week moving average (the highlighted number) is a more useful number than the weekly data. Here is the complete data series.
The headline Unemployment Insurance data is seasonally adjusted. What does the non-seasonally adjusted data look like? See the chart below, which clearly shows the extreme volatility of the non-adjusted data (the red dots). The 4-week MA gives an indication of the recurring pattern of seasonal change (note, for example, those regular January spikes).