The headline, fictional, seasonally adjusted (SA) number of initial unemployment claims for last week came in at 267,000. The Wall Street economist crowd consensus guess was a little too high at 276,000, a non material difference.
We have no interest in the seasonally manipulated headline number expectations game. Instead we focus on the actual trend of the actual data. Facts and reality are much more useful than the Wall Street captured media’s fantasy numbers. Actual claims were 258,119, which is another record low for this calendar week, continuing a nearly uninterrupted string of record lows that began in September 2013.
Employers in some sectors are hoarding workers. Similar behavior in the past has been associated with bubbles, and has led to massive retrenchment, usually within 18 months or so. The current string is now 3 months beyond the point at which other major bubbles have begun to deflate.
In the housing bubble similar behavior continued well beyond the peak of that bubble in 2005-06. Employers seem to take their cues from stock prices.
The Department of Labor (DoL) reports the unmanipulated numbers that state unemployment offices actually count and report to the DoL each week. This week it said, “The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 258,119 in