Initial weekly unemployment claims for the week ending on June 16, 2012 were 387,000. The DOL reports this as a decrease of 2,000 from last week, yet last week's initial claims were revised up, from 386,000 to 389,000, an increase of 3,000. Initial claims for unemployment insurance are stagnating, not declining as needed, as seen in the below chart.
The four week moving average is now 386,250, an 3,500 increase from last week's revised up, from 382,000 to 382,750, moving average. This is the highest four week average since the December 3rd, 2011. To see any sort of pattern, we need to look at the four-week moving average. Weekly Claims are always revised due to the time lag for individual states reporting their claims data. Additionally, the unemployment filings statistic is just a one week time window. Below is the four week moving average graph.
The magic number to show job creation is at minimum, below 375,000 initial unemployment claims, per week and the United States is above that number.
Below is the mathematical log of initial weekly unemployment claims. A log helps remove some statistical noise, it's kind of an averaging and gives a better sense of a pattern. As we can see we have a step rise during the height of the recession, but then a leveling where every week initial unemployment insurance claims hover around 375,000-400,000, a very slow decline, or fat tail with now another hovering around 385,000. We have a never ending job market malaise, we just cannot get initial claims to drop to the levels they need to be in order to really show some job growth. The recession ended officially in July 2009.
Below is the four week moving average, set to a log scale, from April 1st, 2007. Here we can see we still are not at pre-recession initial weekly unemployment claims levels. If anyone recalls, even before the Great Recession the job market was not so hot.
Continuing unemployment claims didn't budge, and we have large long term unemployed.
The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending June 9 was 3,299,000, unchanged from the preceding week's revised level. The 4-week moving average was 3,293,750, an increase of 5,250 from the preceding week's revised average of 3,288,500.
In the week ending June 2nd, not seasonally adjusted, the official number of people obtaining some sort of unemployment insurance benefit was 5,826,164. Officially, there are 12.7 million unemployed.