Yes, you read that right. First-time jobless claims jumped 40,000 last week. This is the difference between the seasonally-adjusted figures (which are in this morning's sunny news stories) and the ACTUAL numbers.
Here is the difference, from last week to this week:
Seasonally-adjusted... 424,000--->384,000. Actual claims............ 319,000--->361,000.
"...Jade Zelnik, the chief economist at Greenwich Capital Markets Inc. in Greenwich, Connecticut, said the revision of the prior week's total ``continues to indicate a deterioration in labor market conditions relative to earlier in the summer.''
She and other economists said the Labor Department's adjustments to account for seasonal fluctuations distorted the figures. Next week's statistics may be unreliable for the same reason, Zelnik said, and claims may rise reflecting the West Coast port shutdown..."
"...from the previously reported 417,000 for the week before, based on the median of 30 forecasts in a Bloomberg News survey. Last week's total was revised up to 424,000..."
The so-called 40K reduction, compared against an upwardly revised figure -- once again this game is played.
Very interesting data. There was, of course, a bounce in jobless claims in the weeks after 9/11/01, and the seasonal adjustment is skewed to that number. The unadjusted claims number tells the real story, claims up nearly 42,000.
Kiss your ashley goodbye? I'm betting the stock market narrowly escapes death avoiding a 1927-29 double dip recession, and the 3 marketers make the cover of Time Magazien again(Abby Cohen replaces Bob Rubin in the picture). We are condemned to relive history.