Is No News Good News with Regard to the Unemployment Claims Levels, Plural?


Every week there is an unemployment claims report released. The report includes the seasonally adjusted and non-seasonally adjusted first-time unemployment claims level and the seasonally adjusted and non-seasonally adjusted continuing claims numbers. Once a hallmark segment of the Thursday news, these pieces of data are actively being ignored. Tomorrow's Jobs Report should record significant drops in the Unemployment Rate and the Participation Rate. The authors of the weekly claims report have been promoting the FACT (False Assertion Considered to be True) that we have had 83 weeks of seasonally adjusted first-time claims under 300,000. This streak really began this past January, not March of 2015.  We have NSA FTU and Continuing Claims levels at 16 year lows for the first week of October. Crickets in the news. Why?


First-Time Claims are at 203,000. The NSA FTU number is 202,800. Last week's data was revised up from 197,984 to 198,455. How can we have record low claims and record low participation?


Continuing Claims Are at the Level Not Seen Since October of 2000. Continuing Claims were revised up for the week of 9/17/16 from 1,754,357 to 1,756,097. This week the vale for 9/24/16 was recorded at 1,741,354. We saw massive numbers of part-time jobs lost last month. Those are not eligible for benefits. September should be a full-time job loss month - that is not being born out by these claims levels. Will they end up being seasonal full-time jobs? Seasonal jobs do not earn unemployment benefits even if they are full-time.


Can we trust the reported values? The Reported values are the seasonally adjusted data. The recorded values, the values used for these graphs, are the non-seasonally adjusted data. If we would have used the seasonal factor for October 1, 2005 or October 1, 2011 the reported value would have been over 275,000 - not 248,000.


Tomorrow's Jobs Report is going to be huge.




Jack Dunn - Reclaiming Common Sense