Reclaiming Common Sense

The weekly unemployment claims data was historic,

still the mainstream media chooses to ignore them, plural.

The weekly unemployment claims report used to be headline news at the bottom of the hour. Were we under 400,000 seasonally adjusted (SA) first-time unemployment (FTU) claims. We we under 300,000 SA FTU claims? We we under 300,000 SA FTU claims for the 25th, 50th, 75th consecutive week? The Obama unemployment claims streak FACT (False Assertion Considered to be True) was dominating the news up to the November 2016 election. So what happened this week?

Non-Seasonally Adjusted (NSA) First-time Claims fell to 210,100.  Last week's data was revised slightly higher from 242,257 to 242,817 claims. This was one of the best NSA FTU claims data values for the second week of February ever. This week the value was recorded at 210,100 and reported at 216,000 claims.  It was projected that he NSA FTU value could drop 3-9%.  It dropped 13.47%.

The Seasonally Adjusted First-time Claims data could have been reported lower than it was reported. Look at the first-time unemployment claims table. We have the lowest SA FTU, official value, for the third week of February since February 17,1973. If we used the same seasonal factor that they used we would have reported 187,000 SA FTU.

A similar portrait was painted for the NSA Continuing Claims (CC) Data. It was projected that the NSA CC value could drop by 0.75% to 2.75%. The NSA CC dropped to 2.084 million claims. This gives us the lowest NSA CC value for the second week of February since February 10, 1973. Remember that we had 56.359 million covered insured during February of 1973. This year we have 143.051 million covered insured.  We have 86.692 million more covered insured and only 20,000 more claims.

It was projected that the SA CC could fall to 1.725 million claims. We hit 1,724,983. This is incredibly, remarkably strong. We had 3.562 million continuing claims February 9, 2009. We have half that number of claims Feb. 9, 2019. If we used the seasonal factor from the second week of February 1973 then we would have reported 1609 million continuing claims. .

The Insured Unemployment Rate fell to 1.46%. This is the percentage of covered insured who are receiving continuing claims benefits. This is different from the U-3 unemployment rate of workers out of work searching for work. This is also significantly lower than the number of non-seasonally adjusted job openings. Three different surveys, measuring three different things. Not comparable. This IUR of 1.46% is comparable to the best of 2000 and the best of 2014.  Remember that we have an elevated level of Multiple Job Holders. A second job is the best form of unemployment insurance.

This data is ignored by most people these day. This gives us insight into what we can expect for the U-3 unemployment level. If claims drop then the number of people claiming to be unemployed should also drop. It doesn't always work that way. This data is remarkable. Record low level of first-time claims for this week of the year. Seriously low continuing claims. "Historic" IUR for this week of the year.

It's the economy.