You know, we're really not sure why so many people seem to be surprised that new, seasonally-adjusted, weekly jobless claim filings persist in clocking in at levels above 400,000, or that the adjusted values for the previous weeks tend to be revised upward.
In fact, based upon the trend that has been established since 9 April 2011, that's exactly what we can expect somewhat more than half the time throughout the rest of 2011, provided the current trend continues to remain in effect:
We can arrive at that forecast by following the trajectory of the mean trend line, which is shown as the heavy black line on the chart. Based on the existing trend, we can expect the number of new jobless claims filed in future weeks to be above this line 50% of the time, or below it 50% of the time.
And since that slowly downward trending line is currently projected to stay above the 400,000 level through the end of 2011, we can therefore expect that there is over a 50% probability that the number of new, seasonally adjusted initial unemployment claims will be above the 400,000 mark through the end of the year.
In fact, what we can expect as we go forward in time is that we'll see an increasing number of times in the weeks ahead where the number of new jobless benefit claim filings will fall below the 400,000 mark, as the number of layoffs from U.S. employers each week continues to decline gradually.
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