Weekly unemployment claims fell to 405,000 but approximately 11,500 of their reported initial claims are a result of state employees filing due to the state government shutdown.

Please consider the Department of Labor Weekly Claims Report.

In the week ending July 9, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 405,000, a decrease of 22,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 427,000. The 4-week moving average was 423,250, a decrease of 3,750 from the previous week’s revised average of 427,000.

Subtracting 11,500 would drop the number to 393,500. That would be a good number on a relative basis, but the 4-week moving average is quite high 2 years into a “recovery”.

4-Week Moving Average of Initial Unemployment Claims

Judging from the last two recessions, the moving average of claims remains elevated. However, these numbers are not population adjusted.

4-Week Moving Average Divided by Civilian Labor Force

On a labor force adjusted basis the number of weekly claims is elevated in comparison to the last two recessions but not to the recessions of the 70’s and 80’s.

However, demographics and demographic trends are so widely different now than then that prior comparisons may be invalid.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock
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