Reclaiming Common Sense

First-time Claims Reported under 300,000 for 257th Consecutive Week

Continuing Claims Reported under 2.0 Million for 147th Consecutive Week.

The weekly unemployment claims report used to be headline news at the bottom of the eight o'clock hour during the Obama Administration. Would the seasonally adjusted (SA) first-time claims (FTU) level drop below 500,000 or 400,000 or 300,000? They stopped mentioning the "streak" after the 2016 Presidential Election. They rarely acknowledge the continuing claims data. They have "never" commented on the Insured Unemployment Rate (IUR.) What was recorded this week? Nothing was reported because we have the continuing Coronavirus situation in China.Here is the report. What does it mean?

Non-Seasonally Adjusted First-time Claims fell from 224,664 to 218,977.  We are entering a period of time where the NSA FTU value could drop below 200,000 claims. The First-time Unemployment Rate (FUR) or First-time Insured Rate (FIR) dropped to an all-time low for the second week of February at just 0.15%. This is the lowest that the NSA FTU has ever been during the second week of February.

Seasonally Adjusted First-time Claims Streak "reported" under 300,000 for the 257th consecutive week at just 205,000 claims. Last week's SA FTU now stands at 203,000. It used to be considered good news if we were under 300,000 SA FTU. It was interesting when we dropped below 250,000 SA FTU. Now? Nada. The Legacy Media cannot wrapped their heads around how strong this data is.  This is the lowest that the SA FTU has been since February 8, 1969.

The Non-Seasonally Adjusted Continuing Claims (CC) value dropped from 2.152 million to 2.083 million claims. This is the lowest NSA Continuing Claims level for the first week of February since February 3, 1969. The NSA Insured Unemployment Rate was recorded at the lowest rate ever for the first week of February at just 1.43%.

The seasonally adjusted continuing claims level is under the 2.0 million mark for the 147th consecutive week.  This streak gets no mention in the Legacy Media.

This data is so good that it "has" to be ignored. There were pundits talking about the three things that had to happen in order for President Obama to win re-election during 2012. First, the Seasonally Adjusted Weekly Claims level had to drop below 400,000 claims. We had 363,000 SA FTU (Oct. 27,) and 361,000 claims (Nov. 3,) only to pop to 446,000 SA FTU claims on Nov. 10, 2016, Second, the SA Unemployment rate had to drop under 8.00%. Amazingly, the SA U-3 Unemployment rate dropped from  8.1% during August of 2012 to 7.8% during September of 2012. What wasn't being discussed back then was that the participation rate was dropping, too. The participation rate dropped from 64.0% during December 2011 to 63.6% during September 2016. The Third thing that "had to happen" for former President Obama to be re-elected was to have gasoline drop below $3.00 a gallon.  It did.

Ignore the weekly claims data at your own risk. The trends are still our friend. Last year we set a record for weeks with the NSA FTU claims being recorded under 200,000 claims with 23 weeks. Last year we tied a record low of 0.95%. Last year we had a low of 1.369 million continuing claims, comparable to the 1.350 million during October of 2018, with 2 million more covered insured.The earliest that we have had an NSA FTU recorded under 200,000 was February 24, 2018. Last year we had two weeks with SA FTU under 200,000 claims, during the month of April. What can we expect? Expect the unexpected.

It's the Economy.