Reclaiming Common Sense

 Weekly Unemployment Claims Point Towards Even Lower Claims Data This Year

The Weekly Unemployment claims data has been so good for so long that the mainstream media has actively ignored good news. This past year we recorded the lowest ever insured unemployment rate at 0.95%. We recorded a record 21 weeks where the non-seasonally adjusted data was recorded under 200,000. The problem is that the media reports the seasonally adjusted versions of the data, and nobody knew that hat here was a week where we had under 200,000 NSA FTU claims.

Non-Seasonally Adjusted First-time Unemployment Claims spike the first week of January. They did so this week. The NSA FTU level last week was revised higher to 327,501. This week we hit 348,709. It was projected that he NSA FTU could come in between 349,000 and 382,000. The Pitchfork chart is showing that these values should continue their downward trend . Sooner or later we will "run out" of first-time claims.  This was the fourth lowest start to a year. The first week of the year tends to be the "worst" week of the year. When will the NSA FTU claims drop below 200,000 for the first time this year. The earliest "thaw" was last year during the fourth week of February when the NSA FTU value hit 194,931.

The Seasonally Adjusted Claims data is the lowest for this week of the year since 1969.  The "headline" number would be 216,000 claims if the number still made the headlines. If the seasonal factors for the first week of 2016 were used the headline number would have been 200,000 claims. The seasonal factors change month to month, season to season, and year to year for both the FTU data and the Continuing Claims (CC) data. There were no comments on the historically low seasonally adjusted data because they look at data from any week of any year for their comparisons.

The Continuing Claims Datum for the final week of December was strong. The NSA CC record a value of 2.079 million claims. It was projected that this value could come in between 1.949 million and 2.128 million, with a bias to the high side, just over 2,0 million. This is the lowest end of the year continuing claims datum since 1972. We had 54.333 million covered insured at that time. We have 142.513 million covered insured this week. We have 727,000 more continuing claims for 88 million more workers. We have a covered insured rate of 1.46%. The table and chart can be found here.

The Continuing claims data could have been reported under 1.700 million. Last week's NSA CC was revised higher from 1.788 million to 1.798 million. This week's SA CC was recorded at 2.079 million and reported at 1.722 million.  The trend lines are for even lower data later this year. The highest level of continuing claims is normally recorded during the first week of January. This datum will be released next week. This number should be recorded around 2.1 million to 2.2 million.

This data has been actively ignored. Ignore at your own risk.

It's the economy.