The Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report was released this morning for last week. The 357,000 new claims is decrease of 6,000, but that was from an upward revision of 4,000 for the previous week. The less volatile and closely watched four-week moving average came in at 361,750, the 21th week below 400K after 32 consecutive weeks above that benchmark. Here is the official statement from the Department of Labor:
In the week ending March 31, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 357,000, a decrease of 6,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 363,000. The 4-week moving average was 361,750, a decrease of 4,250 from the previous week's revised average of 366,000.
Editor's notes: what is not mentioned in this report is the fact that the prior weekly report (363,000) was originally reported at 348,000 and with much media fan fair. Turned out the number (348,000) was false, and had to be adjust upwards by a shocking 15,000 applicants.
Tomorrow, we will have the overall government version of the unemployment picture, currently being reported at 8.2% by the DOL. Gallup, using a 30 rolling average, has unemployment at 9.1%, a number much closer to reality.
I expect the unemployment number, reported tomorrow, to be 8.0%, after all, it is an election year and Obama is as honest as a child stealing candy.
In the end, not much has changed at to first time unemployment claims.