How many people filed for new unemployment insurance benefits in the first week of January 2012?
We'll find out the answer to that question below, but in the meantime, we able to make a pretty good guess using our updated forecast chart for the number of seasonally-adjusted initial unemployment insurance claims filed each week!
Assuming the trend established since 9 April 2011 remains intact, and that the variation of individual data points with respect to that mean trend line follows a normal, bell-curve kind of distribution, we can give the following odds that the number of seasonally-adjusted new jobless claims for the week ending 7 January 2012 will fall within the indicated ranges:
Using our statistical control chart-inspired methodology, should the number of seasonally-adjusted initital unemployment insurance claim filings for the week ending 7 January 2012 come in either below 348,469 or above 420,717, it would be an indication that the trend established since 9 April 2011 is potentially breaking down.
As you can see though, it's been going pretty strongly for nearly eight full months now. If it continues through the end of March 2012, it will be very unlikely that we'll see the number of new jobless claims climb above the 400,000 mark, where it spent much of 2011.
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