Initial Jobless Claims Back Over 400K, Prior Revised Higher As 91% Of The Time
Reality once again creeps back in, confirming that the 4 sigma beats in the economic indicators pointed out yesterday were mostly duds, except of course for the drop in the Employment index in the Chicago PMI. After a few brief weeks with a 3 handle in initial claims, initial layoffs once again jumped over 400k, to 402,000 in the Thanksgiving shortened week. As is now par for the course of the data fudgers at the BLS, the previous number was revised higher as is 100% the case always now on a weekly basis, from 393K to 396K. As a reminder, last week's forecast had been for a 388K print, so the 5k miss certainly looked better than an 8k, or 60% higher miss. Unadjusted claims was the silver lining, declining by 69.7k following the massive surge the week prior. Continuing claims also missed expectations, rising from an upward revised 3,705K to 3,740K, on consensus print of 3,650K. Probably most notable is the surge in EUCs as over 76k people dropped off continuing claims and had to file for extended benefits. Absent a further extension in the 99 week cliff at the end of the year, many people are going to lose their continuing continuing benefits. And going back to the BS from the BLS, as John Lohman's chart below shows that in 2011 initial and continuing claims have been revised higher the week following 91% and 100% of the time, respectively. A purely statistical explanation for this phenomenon is "impossible."
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