Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A Second Look at the Lower Initial Jobless Claims Number

The media is reporting that for the week ending Nov. 21, the figure for initial jobless claims was 466,000, a decrease of 35,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 501,000 that has been released by the Labor Department.

But this is a seasonally adjusted number.

Without the Labor Departments special "seasoning" the number of actual initial claims under state programs totaled 543,926 in the week ending Nov. 21, an increase of 68,080 from the previous week.

Thus, the Labor Department numbers have swung the jobless claims picture by over 100,000 for the last week, from a decrease to an increase.

Which means, if you applied for unemployment last week there is a one in five chance your claim has been seasonally adjusted from the data.

Happy Thanksgiving.

1 comment:

  1. "Seasonally adjusted"

    What does that even mean?

    Is this that same technique used by the CRU for climate research?