Reclaiming Common Sense

The  weekly unemployment claims report and the final revision to the Gross Domestic Product for the First Quarter were both released this morning at 8:30 AM. There was concern that the first quarter number was revised down to 2.0%. There was a time, many times under President Obama, when first quarter GDP was negative. This column has written a few articles on the GDP, especially how the data does not make sense this year. This article is going to focus on the unemployment data.

The First time Claims data remains at near Record Lows for the Month of June. ) Normally we see the lowest level of first-time unemployment (FTU) claims data  during the final week of September. We have already had data lower than last year's lowest non-seasonally adjusted (NSA) FTU Claims data. This week the NSA FTU value was recorded at  222,247 claims. The seasonally adjusted (SA) FTU data was reported at 227,000 claims. Remember that there used to be corks popping when we were below 300,000 SA FTU.

The Seasonally Adjusted First-time Claims could have been reported lower than they were reported. The seasonal factors change week to week, moth to month, season to season, and year to year. The SA FTU could have been reported under 225,000 this week.

The Continuing Claims data was recorded under 1.6 million claims - Again. Again. The data here is rarely discussed. This data measures the number of people still receiving unemployment benefits after their first week. This data lags the FTU data by one week. This data gives some insight as to which direction the NSA U-3 unemployment claims data may be heading. The unemployment data for the jobs report was collected on June 12th. The data for the first-time claims data was collected on June 9th and June 16th. Both were lower than the claims data for May 12th. Normally a seasonally adjusted value under 2.0 million is considered good. We are at  1.704 million NSA CC claims this week.

The Continuing Claims data could have been reported under 1.7 million. The data could also have been reported  up to 1.93 million claims - still under 2.0 million. The seasonal factors are different from those used to calculate the SA FTU values. They also change every week, month, season and year.

It's the economy.