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Thursday, June 11, 2009 1:29 PM

Initial Unemployment Claims Dip Slightly; Continuing Claims Rise 19th Consecutive Week

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Last week in Continuing Claims Dip Slightly Snapping Streak at 17 I commented:

"Continuing claims hit 6.788 million last week, setting a 17th consecutive record (revised slightly lower to 6.750 million). Today's number is 6.735 million, breaking the streak (assuming the number is not revised up later)."

The Department of Labor number revised the numbers so the streak is still intact at 19.

Please consider the Department of Labor Weekly Claims Report.

Seasonally Adjusted Data

In the week ending June 6, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 601,000, a decrease of 24,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 625,000. The 4-week moving average was 621,750, a decrease of 10,500 from the previous week's revised average of 632,250.

The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 5.1 percent for the week ending May 30, unchanged from the prior week's revised rate of 5.1 percent.

The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending May 30 was 6,816,000, an increase of 59,000 from the preceding week's revised level of 6,757,000. The 4-week moving average was 6,750,500, an increase of 57,250 from the preceding week's revised average of 6,693,250.
Weekly Claims

click on chart for sharper image

The dip in initial claims from the March peak of roughly 650,000 is not accelerating very fast, if indeed at all.

Note that the 4-week moving average of initial claims after generally falling for months is still above 600,000 and right now solidly so. Also note that the 4-week moving average of continuing claims rose a significant amount.

Bear in mind the "stress-free tests" conducted by the Fed had an adverse scenario of 10.3% at the end of 2010. I expect to see it at 9.8%+- by August and approaching 11% by the end of the year.

Once again, I would like to point out that unemployment insurance does run out. People will drop off the rolls when benefits expire.

Those looking for a recovery in jobs soon are going to be disappointed.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock
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