Thursday, December 31, 2009

Initial Jobless Claims: 432,000

- by New Deal democrat

The BLS reported that for the week ending December 26, seasonally adjusted initial jobless claims decreased to 432,000, down 22,000 from last week's revised 454,000. The 4-week moving average is now 460,250, compared with 465,750 last week. The 4 week seasonally adjusted moving average is a little more than 31% lower than the peak of 658,750 on April 3 of this year. (The last two "jobless recoveries" coincided with new claims declining no more than 20% from peak).

Unadjusted, there were 557,155 new claims, a decrease of 8,088 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 initial claims numbers for this time last year, and seasonally adjusted is the best number since August 2008.

We are getting close to the point where my research (that claims had to fall ~20% for at least two months) and also the "mental note" of Prof. DeLong et al that initial jobless claims had to fall to 400,000 before jobs would be added, are both going to be correct. The incoming data continues to suggest that more likely than not we are going to get a positive payroll number for December when that figure is released next Friday.

Editorial note: All of the above employers who pink-slipped employees during Christmas week are true grinches -- and that's being kind. One of my favorite lunch places closed last week. Those employees - none of whom were earning very much I'm sure - got a wonderful Christmas gift, didn't they? Why can't employers at least wait until the holiday season is over? Bastards!

From Bonddad

The overall trend continues to to look very promising.