So much for last week's aberration initial claims print of 339K (revised higher of course to 342K). With expectations of an increase to 365K, the DOL just came out with a whopper of a miss, the largest in three months, at 388K, an increase of 46K in one week, which was also the highest print in three months. Remember: this number will be revised to 391K next week. So much for single print indicative of a recovery. As the chart below shows, the rate of change was a 13.45% from last week: the highest in five years! So far, there has been no explanation from the BLS or DOL for last week's outlier print. And no, last week's print was not due to California, which the DOL reported just decreased by 4,979 in the week ended Oct 6, not the required 49K. What is however worse, is that it is becoming increasingly clear that nobody at the DOL knows what is actually going on following a statement by the Labor Dept that "it appeared that state-level administrative issues were distorting the data", and numbers are simply picked out of thin air. Finally, in truly amusing news, those on Extended Benefits have once again started to rise, after dropping to virtually 0 following expiration of state benefits.
For the California conspiracy theorists:
Rate of Change:
Finally, courtesy of John Lohman, here is how long we have now gone without one single downward adjustment in the claims number: