2009 Economic Calendar
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Jobless Claims  
Released On 11/12/2009 8:30:00 AM For wk11/7, 2009
PriorConsensusConsensus RangeActual
New Claims - Level512 K512 K495 K to 525 K502 K
4-week Moving Average - Level523.75 K519.75 K

Jobless claims continue to come down. Initial claims fell 12,000 in the Nov. 7 week to a level of 502,000 (prior week revised 2,000 higher to 514,000). The four-week average shows the progress that's underway, down 4,500 to 519,750 for the lowest level since last November. Continuing claims extended their long downward trend, falling a very large 139,000 to 5.631 million (Oct. 31 week). Though some of this improvement may reflect new hiring, much of it unfortunately reflects the expiration of benefits. The number receiving extended benefits fell 28,243 to a level of 523,061, while those receiving emergency compensation rose more than 20,000 to 3.52 million (both Oct. 24 week). The unemployment rate of insured workers continues to fall, down another tenth to 4.3 percent and in big contrast to total unemployment which has continued to rise, jumping to 10.2 percent in October. Unemployment remains high but initial jobless claims are definitely improving in what is a big plus for the labor outlook. Though better than expected, today's report is having no initial impact on financials markets.

Consensus Outlook
Initial jobless claims declined 20,000 in the October 31 week to 512,000. The pace of layoffs has been on a downtrend as the four-week average was down for the ninth straight week, 3,000 lower at 523,750. Continuing claims are also declining but here the change is likely a negative, due largely to the expiration of benefits. Continuing claims, in data for the October 24 week, fell 68,000 to 5.886 million for the seventh decline in a row.

New unemployment claims are compiled weekly to show the number of individuals who filed for unemployment insurance for the first time. An increasing (decreasing) trend suggests a deteriorating (improving) labor market. The four-week moving average of new claims smooths out weekly volatility.  Why Investors Care
Weekly series fluctuate more dramatically than monthly series even when the series are adjusted for seasonal variation. The 4-week moving average gives a better perspective on the underlying trend.
Data Source: Haver Analytics

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