“Hurricane adjusting” initial claims has proven its value
For the last month, I deduced a “hurricane adjusted” number for initial claims, which showed that the previous underlying positive trend was intact, with the four week average remaining in the 230,000’s.
That approach was borne out by this week’s report, which, at 222,000, was the lowest since 1973.
Although I haven’t gone through the entire formal exercise, here’s how the numbers from the three affected jurisdictions compared in last week’s report compared with one year previously:
FL 13,861 (+6508 from 2016)
TX 16,656 (-225 from 2016)
PR 250 (-2409 from 2016) (DoL estimate)
Net change: +3904 from 2016
Since the seasonal adjustment last week was only ~6%, (244,000 vs. 229,289 NSA), this means last week’s “hurricane adjusted” number was on the order of 239,000 or 240,000.
Natural disasters will continue to strike. I am confident that the method I used in 2012 after Sandy, and again this past month, is a good way to distill the underlying trend from the disaster disturbance.