Thursday, December 17, 2009

Initial Jobless Claims: 480,000; Nov. LEI +0.9

- by New Deal democrat

The BLS reported that for the week ending December 12, seasonally adjusted initial jobless claims were 480,000, up 7,000 from last week's slightly revised 473,000.

The 4-week moving average is now 467,500, compared with 472,750 last week. The 4 week seasonally adjusted moving average is now about 29% lower than the peak of 658,750 on April 3 of this year. (During the last two "jobless recoveries", new claims never declined anywhere near 29% from peak).

Unadjusted, there were 555,344 new claims, a decrease of 107,393 from the week before, showing how much seasonal volatility exists in the weekly numbers at this time of year. Today's reading is well below the 626,867 initial claims in the same week last year.

This week's initial jobless claims number is the "Big One," because last week (the week being reported on) was the week during which the BLS made its December jobs survey. Here's the relationship between the initial jobless claims number in the reference week (left) and the monthly jobs number (right) since ther peak in Initial Jobless Claims at the beginning of April:

2009-04-01 (+648) (-519)
2009-05-01 (+630) (-303)
2009-06-01 (+617) (-463)
2009-07-01 (+567) (-304)
2009-08-01 (+571) (-154)
2009-09-01 (+564) (-139)
2009-10-01 (+532) (-111)
2009-11-01 (+513) (- 11)
2998-12-01 (+480) ????

In summary, based on my prior research, initial jobless claims are suggesting that actual job growth is taking place in the economy this month.

From Bonddad -- here's the chart:

Notice the 4-week moving average continues to move lower. This tells us the overall trend is in place.
UPDATE: November LEI were reported at +0.9. October's stayed at +0.3 (housing permits didn't add or subtract as much as I thought). This means that in the last 8 months, the LEI are up +6.8. YoY LEI are up +5.7. This is also very consistent with the YoY readings during the last two recoveries when jobs were finally added to the economy.