Thursday, July 30, 2009

Unemployment insurance claims still a mixed bag, a wilted green shoot

Unemployment insurance claims do appear to be roughly on a downtrend, but it will continue to be a bumpy ride. Seasonally adjusted initial claims did rise moderately last week, but the seasonal adjustments are not exactly reliable in such an unusual economic environment. Unadjusted initial claims actually declined last week and the 4-week moving average of initial claims also declined. Continuing claims did decline last week, both adjusted and unadjusted, as well as the 4-week moving average.

Initial claims of 559,000 (4-week moving average of seasonally adjusted claims) are still way above normal (300K or so), so we shouldn't take too much solace in this data, but at least the trend is not as bad as earlier in the year.

I would call this a wilted green shoot. The green shoot is still growing (good news), but not as full of life as we would like to see (disappointing for those of us who are impatient.)

-- Jack Krupansky

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