Thursday, August 4, 2011

Weekly unemployment claims were not disappointing



Interpreting economic data is an art, not a science, unfortunately. Some people can look at the top chart of seasonally adjusted jobless claims and see that claims remain at relatively high levels historically, they haven't fallen below 400K per week for 18 weeks, and this means the economy remains in terrible shape. Others can look at the bottom chart of non-seasonally adjusted claims and see that they remain in a downtrend, the most recent datapoint was the lowest since September, 2008, and this means that the economy continues to slowly improve. I'm in the latter camp, but given today's equity market rout, the bears appear to be in charge.

5 comments:

vg said...

Could it also be that a large number of people are exiting the official unemployment rolls and joining the ranks of the long-term unemployed, or under-employed?

brodero said...

Actually they were quite good on
the 52 week moving average of NSA
initial claims...but the market is
100% concerned about Europe

NormanB said...

Unemployment claim data are better shown if normalized by total employment as Mark Perry at Carpe Diem does.

Unknown said...

It's going to be fascinating tomorrow to see what happens if we get a better-than-expected jobs report!

psdaengr1 said...

Unemployment statistics that aren't a percentage of the adult population are bunk. B.L.S. numbers are BS.