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Initial Unemployment Compensation Claims Exceeded 400,000 Week Ending January 28, 2012
Raymond Richman, 2/3/2012

Initial  unemployment compensation claims exceeded 400,000 during the week ending Jan 28, 2012. What you did not see, hear, or read in the media Thursday or Friday Feb. 2-3, was the unadjusted number, i.e., the actual number of initial claims reported by the BLS beginning in the 4th paragraph below. Instead, the media, including Rick Santelli of CNBC, the Friday WSJ, Bloomerg, et al. reported that the number of claims filed was 379,000 when in fact it was 415,094. 

The first three paragraphs should be considered irrelevant if you are a stock trader or investor. There is no economic value in my opinion in seasonally adjusting weekly data at all. The number of claims, over 400,000, suggests that skepticism is warranted on today’s report on employment and unemployment which sent the stock market soaring.

 “UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE WEEKLY CLAIMS REPORT

          SEASONALLY ADJUSTED DATA

In the week ending January 28, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 367,000, a decrease of 12,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 379,000. The 4-week moving average was 375,750, a decrease of 2,000 from the previous week's revised average of 377,750.

The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.7 percent for the week ending January 21, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point from the prior week's unrevised rate.

The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending January 21, was 3,437,000, a decrease of 130,000 from the preceding week's revised level of 3,567,000. The 4-week moving average was 3,527,500, a decrease of 43,000 from the preceding week's revised average of 3,570,500.

UNADJUSTED DATA

The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 415,094 in the week ending January 28, a decrease of 1,786 from the previous week. There were 464,775 initial claims in the comparable week in 2011.

The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 3.2 percent during the week ending January 21, unchanged from the prior week's unrevised rate. The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 4,042,107, a decrease of 27,544 from the preceding week. A year earlier, the rate was 3.7 percent and the volume was 4,632,950.

The total number of people claiming benefits in all programs for the week ending January 14 was 7,670,452, an increase of 345 from the previous week. “

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