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Jobless claims: huge upward revisions for the second week in a row

Jobless claims: huge upward revisions for the second week in a row

The story this week is the repeated massive upward revisions to last week’s numbers

This week, on a unadjusted basis, new jobless claims declined by 5,702 to 862,351. Seasonally adjusted claims increased by 13,000 to 861,000 (meaning last week’s original number of 793,000 was revised higher by almost 50,000! – the 2nd week in a row for huge upward revisions). The 4 week moving average declined by 3,500 to 833,250. 

Here is the close up since the end of July (these numbers were in the range of 5 to 7 million at their worst in early April): 

Signs that the worst of the pandemic related layoffs may be behind us

Initial and continued jobless claims: signs that the worst of the pandemic related layoffs may be behind us

Some – very relative – good news in unemployment claims this week. It looks like the recent increase in new claims has peaked, while continued claims continue to decline. With new daily infections, still horrible at 100,000/day, only 40% of their 250,000/day peak, and vaccinations slowly increasing near 1.5 million/day, we may have seen the worst.

To today’s data: on an unadjusted basis, new jobless claims declined by 36,354 to 813,145. Seasonally adjusted claims declined by 19,000 to 793,000 (meaning last week’s original number was revised higher by nearly 40,000!). The 4 week moving average also declined by 33,500 to 823,000. 

Here is the close up since the end of July (these numbers were in the range of 5 to 7 million at their worst in early April): 

Upward trend confirmed in new jobless claims

Upward trend confirmed in new jobless claims

On a unadjusted basis, new jobless claims declined by 101,498 to 873,966. Seasonally adjusted claims also declined by 67,000 to 847,000. The 4 week moving average, however, rose by 16,250 to 868,000. Since the 4 week average has risen above 850,000, and weekly claims were above 900,000 for several weeks in a row, jobless claims have finally met my criteria confirming a change to an upward trend.

Here is the close up since the end of July (these numbers were in the range of 5 to 7 million at their worst in early April): 

Because of the huge swings caused by the scale of the pandemic – typically

Initial jobless claims: still elevated compared with several months ago, another negative jobs report for January a possibility

Initial jobless claims: still elevated compared with several months ago, another negative jobs report for January a possibility

Initial jobless claims this week came within a hair of meeting my criteria for a change to an upward trend. 

On a unadjusted basis, new jobless claims declined by 151,303 to 960,668. Seasonally adjusted claims also declined by 26,000 to 900,000 (last week’s numbers were also adjusted downward from 965,000 to 926,000). The 4 week moving average, however, rose by 23,500 to 848,000.

Here is the close up since the end of July (these numbers were in the range of 5 to 7 million at their worst in early April): 

There is now a 2 1/2 month trend of YoY% increases in initial claims. Further, by rising to  900,000 or higher for the second week in a row, seasonally adjusted claims hit one of my two markers for a fundamental change of trend. But the 4 week average – by a whopping 2,000 – remains under my marker of 850,000.