Political  Calculations

As we expected, the number of new jobless benefit claims jumped from the low level reported in the previous week. Let's show where things stand now, then get to some analysis - our chart below shows where we are with respect to the most recently established trend for new jobless claims:

Closeup of Residual Distribution for Seasonally-Adjusted Initial Unemployment Insurance Claims Filed Weekly, 19 November 2011 to 26 January 2013

Now for analysis! The LA Times' Jim Puzzanghera reports:

The number of people filing for unemployment benefits for the first-time increased to 368,000 in the week ending Saturday, up from the previous week's level of 330,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. That figure was the lowest in five years.

Economists had speculated the sharp drop earlier in January could have been related to the difficulties of making seasonal adjustments after the holidays and at the start of a new year. Last week's increase could be offsetting overstated decreases.

Ah yes. The difficulties of making seasonal adjustments related to the timing of the Christmas and New Years' holidays. Because some speculating economists just never know what days of the week those events might fall upon from year to year, which in their minds means the data jocks at the BLS who have actually worked out the seasonal adjustment factors using years of data can't possibly account for these seemingly random events on the calendar.

Political Calculations

Political Calculations is a site that develops, applies and presents both established and cutting edge theory to the topics of investing, business and economics.

Be the first to read Political Calculation's column. Sign up today and receive Townhall.com delivered each morning to your inbox.


Get the best of Townhall Finance Daily delivered straight to your inbox

Follow Townhall Finance!