Initial Claims Over 400K For Second Week In A Row, Hurricane's Fault Again
Yesterday's home sales data, which came far better than expected, apparently had nothing to do with Hurricane Sandy (had it been a disappointment the narrative would have been far different). What Hurricane Sandy did have an impact on for the second week in a row, is today's Initial Unemployment Claims, supposedly, which for the second week in a row printed well above 400K, and just as expected, at 410K, "down" from last week's upward (naturally) revised 451K (previously 439K). NSA claims declined from 478.5K to 397.7K, while Continuing Claims were just below expectations at 3,337K on a consensus print of 3,345K, and down from an upward revised 3,367K. Notable is that the dropping trend in those on extended claims, which recently dropped to a multi year low of around 2 million, had reverse, and 60.8K applied for EUCs.
Paradoxically, looking at last week's very disappointing jobs data, something sadly does not foot. According to the DOL, the states impacted by Sandy were NY at +43,956, NJ at +31,094, PA at +7,037, and CT at +1,808. This assumes all initial claims in these states were due to Sandy, because as everyone knows the second a hurricane comes along, everyone one is fired. So taking the NSA print of 478,543 for November 10, and subtracting the fully attributed Sandy "impact" 83,895, and one gets 394,648. Hardly the stuff those pushing for a "recovery" and saying to avoid the Sandy-related claims, would want to see.
Finally, and most confusingly, last week's third most laid off state, with +24,693 initial claims was... California.
Sandy's fault for sure. But at least Ohio had 5K less layoffs in the manufacturing industry in elections week...