Initial weekly unemployment claims decreased to 382,000 this week and last week was revised up to 395,250. The 4 week moving average dropped to 389,500, but is higher than the 4 week moving average from March 12th. Weekly unemployment claims seem to be hovering right above the job creation point of 375,000 per week now.
The magic number to show job creation is at minimum, below 400,000 initial unemployment claims per week and most Economists will quote 375,000. It seems a hover pattern is appearing, where initial claims are finally dropping, yet hovering above the job creation point and not fast enough.
From the jobless claims report:
In the week ending April 2, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 382,000, a decrease of 10,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 392,000. The 4-week moving average was 389,500, a decrease of 5,750 from the previous week's revised average of 395,250.
Below is the mathematical log of initial weekly unemployment claims, so one can get a better sense of the rise and fall of the numbers. A log helps remove some statistical noise, it's kind of an averaging. As we can see we have a step rise during the height of the recession, but then a leveling, not a similar decline....for a long period. Instead, we have this yo-yo bobblehead, over 400,000 every week on initial claims, never ending labor malaise for most of the time after the recession ended in July 2009. Now, notice the tail or the right of the graph, it appears a downward slope, a decline initial claims, started emerging in February.
Below is the 4 week moving average, set to a logarithmic scale to remove even more statistical noise, for the last year. Here a trend is appearing that weekly initial unemployment claims are finally dropping. Again, we need the 4 week moving average to stay below 400,000 and keep dropping. Numerous economists say the number is 375,000 to show job growth. We see a strong decline, but remember the record highs. We need this number to keep dropping, steadily.
Below is the 4 week moving average, set to a log scale, from April 1st, 2007. This shows while the immediate change looks promising, we are nowhere near pre-recession initial weekly unemployment claims levels.
Continuing unemployment claims barely budged from last week.
The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending March 26 was 3,723,000, a decrease of 9,000 from the preceding week's revised level of 3,732,000. The 4-week moving average was 3,745,750, a decrease of 24,000 from the preceding week's revised average of 3,769,750.
In the week ending March 19th, not seasonally adjusted, the raw number was 8,524,455 official people obtaining some sort of unemployment insurance benefit.