"Seasonal Adjustment" Swings Initial Jobless Claims From 6-Month Highs To Cycle Lows

Tyler Durden's picture

Moments after today's Microsoft record layoff announcement we tweeted the following:

Once again we were spot on.

Because as the DOL just reported, yet again the fate of the US economy is left to seasonal adjustments. Non-seasonally-adjusted initial jobless claims surged over 47,000 this week to its worst in 6-months. But by the magic of PhD adjustment, this translated into 3,000 seasonally-adjusted drop from last week, beating expectations and printing near 'recovery' cycle lows. We can only imagine the adjustments needed to cope with Microsoft's layoffs. 2014 has seen the smallest percentage drop in initial claims since the crisis began.

Initial Claims raw data: non-seasonally-adjusted - not exactly the picture of health.


But ignore that and focus on seasonally-manipulated data.

To be clear, real initial claims are soaring but the magical data released to the public is dropping...


Charts: Bloomberg

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PlusTic's picture

you gutta love the artistry of this fraud!

ShorTed's picture

Don't worry about Microsoft job cuts.  We're actually exporting that portion of our "recovery" to Finland.  I'm sure they'll find a way to express their gratitude.

philipat's picture

Why does nobody ever challenge what precisely is the methodology of the "Seasonal Adjustments"? In the case of most data series, it is adequate to compare YOY and MAT data to view trends and which automatically adjust for seasonality. So Why are "Seasonal Adjustments" even necessary over and beyond YOY/MAT? Unless of course, this is simply a "Fudge Factor" designed purely to confuse with BS? Hmmm......

Pool Shark's picture



If your boss complains your productivity is down; just tell him that 'seasonally-adjusted,' it's actually up...



philipat's picture

Actually Belgium not Finland??

El Hosel's picture

Declare Victory.... Run away, don't come back.

MFL8240's picture

More from Team Circus!

LostandFound's picture

Can someone explain to me what exactly seasonal adjustment is but more importantly why it is applied? i apologise in advance for my stupidity.....:(

Pool Shark's picture



Seasonal Adjustment: Adding spices, seasonings and enhancements to flat, distasteful items to make them more pallatable.

Last night I 'seasonally-adjusted' my meatloaf...


Winston Churchill's picture

Must be the whether.

Whether to replace the thumb on the scales,with your bum on the scale.

MeMongo's picture

Mongo only pawn in the game of life! But he's certainly digging the ZH ads with all the hot boom boom girls. No need in guessing which assets their pushing.

MFL8240's picture

2014 has seen the smallest percentage drop in initial claims since the crisis began.


After 5 years of this mess there arent that many people left in the work force.

Last of the Middle Class's picture

This whole economy is "seasonally adjusted" WTF else is new. They print whatever they want then revise them later when no one is looking.

ekm1's picture

My GDP estimations since May 2013:


USA, -4%


CHINA, -8%








WORLD, -5%


This year is still running at the same shrinkage rate.

semperfi's picture

polar vortex increased the shrinkage rate in males over 50

Dr. Engali's picture

Hmmmm. Hmmmmm heh heh heh...... You said shrinkage.

semperfi's picture

and for my seasonal adjustments, I sold 47 unicorns to the Easter bunny and tooth fairy last month

ejmoosa's picture

I am less interested in your sales, and more interested in your inventory...did it rise?


Because that is what will boost GDP...

philipat's picture

Using Derivatives I would assume??...

Aknownymouse's picture

It is now called macroprudential data.

Just an innocent question. Why is data ever seasonally adjusted? If the seasons are already factored in everybody's knowledge of life. Also why not rely on moving averages instead? Just a simple thought from a ZH moron.

The Most Interesting Frog in the World's picture

SA are nothing more than a jobs program.

disabledvet's picture

Apparently not a very good one. "More road building!"

Too bad no one is driving on the highway anymore.

Epic drawdown in oil inventories...distillates still through the roof though.

6 years into "more of the same" and it sure looks like only three States are in recovery: Texas, North Dakota and Alaska.

Still hopeful for Minnestota and Wisconsin but we'll see.

Dr. Engali's picture

I just graduated college with $100,000 in student loan debt and a degree in burger flipping. My future never looked brighter.

semperfi's picture

You have my full sympathy - you already have a house mortgage.  I'm trying to get my 2 kids thru college without any debt like my parents did for me (thank God) but its not looking good

TabakLover's picture

Me too.  First 2 made it...... one off to Medical school, other PHd from Johns Hopkins in genetics.  The 3rd is gonna be tough and will likely delay my retirement indefinately.

semperfi's picture

solution: get the PHd (assume now positive cash flowing) to help fund the 3rd  ;)

semperfi's picture

wait - seasonally adjusted, your debt is only $50,000

tolivian's picture

You got a degree in Burger Flipping?!?!

Damn my university didn't offer anything that practical. I paid a high four year tuition and majored in "American Studies."

You would be surprised at the complete lack of job openings requiring an American Studies major. What is happening with this country? Doesn't it want to be studied anymore?

The Most Interesting Frog in the World's picture

I have found Shadowstats to be a pretty good resource. He has written extensively about the seasonal and other bias built into these, and other numbers. Conclusion is economy is much weaker than government reporting would suggest. But then you already knew that....

yogibear's picture

Barry, the Fed and Wall Street have to present the illusion that the recovery has taken hold and there is growth.  LOL, the US is exceptional, exceptional at lies and cooking the stats.

Barry wants to start a cold war with Russia. He's messing with the wrong country. Doesn't he have enough with the middle east?

Space Animatoltipap's picture

With warm greetings from Caracas.

Bossman1967's picture

Do they just think we are stupid? Seasonally adjusted BULL CRAP ? Its fall here in Oklahoma City so is that what the adjustment is for? See I to can make as much sence as these dumbass politicians.Hey yall the world is going fine and the sky is not falling and Putin is happy today. Now these are fairy tails!

semperfi's picture

>>Do they just think we are stupid?

actually, yes

DeadFred's picture

That plus they have a monopoly on the use of force so they don't care what we think. The numbers are all meant for the algos and for political speaches. They know that the algos are stupid and will believe whatever they say.

Colonel Klink's picture

Obama continues to lie, while the eCONomy continues to die.

semperfi's picture

he's succeeding wildly - that's been his plan all along

Bossman1967's picture

Do they just think we are stupid? Seasonally adjusted BULL CRAP ? Its fall here in Oklahoma City so is that what the adjustment is for? See I to can make as much sence as these dumbass politicians.Hey yall the world is going fine and the sky is not falling and Putin is happy today. Now these are fairy tails!

ejmoosa's picture

They do not think you are stupid.  They do, however, believe the majority to be more interested in any sport involving a ball.....

El Hosel's picture

The algos will decide, the Great OZ behind the curtain is bullish for certain. Tap your toes three times, there's no place like stawks theres no place like stawks.

SoDamnMad's picture

You read the explanation of what is issued here to find out the truth then go to Market Watch and view the SPINNNNNN


all-priced-in's picture

Looks like we just "crossed another red line".



Hohum's picture

This article is reaching a little bit.  NSA claims usually rise this time of year.  NSA still down 40-50K year over year.  The job crunch, though, will hit.  Be patient.

tolivian's picture

Another perspective from Reuters:

"U.S. economy gaining traction despite weak housing"

They further note that slump in housing shoud be "taken with grain of salt" given strength in employment

No mention of size of seasonal adjustment. I guess they blindly accept govt figures

Wonder how they figure in the coming 18,000 layoff by MSFT

Poor housing data dismissed with reference to positive NAHB survey! 

Resembles climate change debte where warmists argue one should ignore the actual data and rely instead on their notoriously unreliable models

Who ya gonna to believe: The actual data or your lying government?