Thursday, October 22, 2009

Initial Claims Trending Down

Amidst this economic downturn, many look eagerly at the job market for any signs of improvement or deterioration. One of the leading indicators, initial unemployment benefits claims, continues to show improvements.

In the week ending Oct. 17, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 531,000, an increase of 11,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 520,000. The 4-week moving average was 532,250, a decrease of 750 from the previous week's revised average of 533,000.

Weekly data fluctuate a lot even after seasonal adjustments. To smooth out fluctuations, 4-week moving average is used for analysis. The 4-week moving average has been trending down since early 2009. [Click on the diagram to enlarge it]

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