Thursday, July 7, 2011

USA Weekly Unemployment Claims Drop to 7-Week Low (Charts) *4-week average 424,750*


United States Department of Labor: Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report
*** Updated July 7, 2011 for the week ended July 2, 2011 Claims ***

Official Statement by the U.S. Department of Labor (Seasonally Adjusted Data) In the week ending July 2, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 418,000, a decrease of 14,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 432,000. The 4-week moving average was 424,750, a decrease of 3,000 from the previous week's revised average of 427,750. The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.9 percent for the week ending June 25, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point from the prior week's revised rate of 3.0 percent. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending June 25 was 3,681,000, a decrease of 43,000 from the preceding week's revised level of 3,724,000. The 4-week moving average was 3,705,250, a decrease of 3,750 from the preceding week's revised average of 3,709,000. Special Factor: Minnesota has indicated that approximately 2,500 of their reported initial claims are a result of state employees filing due to the state government shutdown.

Trend In the short-term, the weekly unemployment insurance claims are mostly level, the current week's claims are the first decrease after two weekly increases. The intermediate-term trend (26-week moving average) is upwards, after reaching a Post-Great Recession low the week ending May 14, 2011. The long-term trend (52-week moving average) continues downwards, reaching a new Post-Great Recession low each week. The current weekly unemployment claims (preliminary) are above 400,000 for the 13th consecutive week and after being below 400,00 for 4 consecutive weeks. The 2011 average weekly claims of 415,481 year-to-date are lower than 2010 average weekly claims of 457,481

Cycle History USA weekly unemployment claims reached a Great Recession cyclical peak of 651,000 for the week ended March 28, 2009. A Post-Great Recession cyclical low of 371,000 was set for the week ended February 26, 2011.

USA Weekly Unemployment Insurance Claims: 4-Week Moving Average (Chart) The chart below shows the 4-week moving average from the week ended March 12, 2011 through the latest week reported. The 4-week moving average is considered a better, smoother measure of trend. The Post-Great Recession cyclical low has been 388,500 for the week ended March 12, 2011, the beginning of the chart.

USA Weekly Unemployment Insurance Claims (Chart) The chart below shows the total weekly unemployment claims from the week ended February 26, 2011 through the latest week reported. The Post-Recession cyclical low has been 371,000 for the week ended February 26, 2011, the beginning of the chart.

Commentary Overall, the reports continue disappointing in that weekly unemployment claims are not trending to and below 400,000. However, the current 7-week low is somewhat encouraging. The latest weekly unemployment claims (preliminary) is the 13th consecutive week above 400,000 after 4 consecutive weeks below. The current claims (preliminary) continue above the Post-Great Recession cyclical low of 371,000 for the week ended February 26, 2011. The 4-week moving average (preliminary) continues above the Post-Great Recession cyclical low of 388,500 for the week ended March 12, 2011. The 2011 average weekly claims is 415,481 (preliminary) is less than the 2010 average weekly claims was 457,481.

Weekly claims first dropped below 500,000 in this Great Recession Cycle for the week ended November 21, 2009 at 477,000. Weekly claims have been below 500,000 since November 21, 2009 with only one exception (504,000 for the week ended August 14, 2010). Claims over 500,000 clearly indicate GDP growth is slowing, if not stalling or contracting, while claims less than 400,000 indicate at least a modest economic expansion is underway.

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