After dropping to their lowest level in more than four years last week, initial jobless claims more than erased last week's decline and came in at their highest level since July. In the last week, jobless claims rose from a revised 342K up to 388K, for an increase of 46K. This was the largest weekly increase since January 2009, in a report that can only be described as bad. Making matters even worse is the fact that this was also the reference week for the October employment report. This kind of number cannot be something that people in the Obama campaign wanted to see.
Looking at the four-week moving average, jobless claims saw an increase of just under 1K. It has now been 29 weeks since jobless claims have made a post-recession low, which is getting close to the longest streak of 31 weeks back in 2011.
Jobless claims on a non-seasonally adjusted (NSA) basis were just as bad, if not worse, than the seasonally adjusted number. As shown in the chart below, NSA claims rose from 329.9K to 359K. While this was still inline with the historical average for the current week going back to 2000, it was the first time that NSA claims showed a year/year increase since April 2011!
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