Jobless Claims Fall To 2006 Low Due To Computer System Upgrades
By Mel Fabrikant Thursday, September 12, 2013, 03:18 PM EDT
Initial jobless claims fell 31k from an unrevised 323k to 292k in the first week of September ending on the 7th. The four-week average also declined falling from 329k to 321k.
This is the lowest level in claims since April 2006. However, the Labor Department reported the outsized decline was a result of computer upgrades. According to a spokesman, two states were attempting to upgrade computer systems which caused those particular employment agencies to report fewer applications. The upgrades were said to have played a ‘major role’ in this week’s reported drop in claims.
Initial claims with 8week avg
Continuing claims fell from 2.94M to 2.87M in the week ending August 31st, a 2.5% drop. The 4-week average fell from 2.98M to 2.95M.
Bottom line: Given the computer glitch, it is hard to draw any conclusion from this morning’s data. And, next week, assuming the computer systems are up and running properly, is likely to overstate weakness as those applicants not included in this morning’s report are shoehorned into next week. Smoothing out the data, on the heels of a less-than-impressive August employment report, our assessment of the labor market remains unchanged: uneven at best.