The weekly unemployment claims were very positive today.
(Bloomberg) -- The number of Americans filing claims for unemployment benefits fell last week to the lowest level since September 2008 as the economic recovery encourages companies to fire fewer workers.
Initial jobless claims declined to 466,000 in the week ended Nov. 21 from 501,000 a week earlier, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. The number of people collecting unemployment insurance dropped in the prior week, while those getting extended payments also declined.
Great news all around, right? Wrong.
The non-seasonally adjusted numbers tell a far different story.
Weekly Initial Claims (SA): -35,000
Weekly Initial Claims (NSA): +68,080
Continuing Ins. Unemployment (SA): -190,000
Continuing Ins. Unemployment (NSA): +187,642
Some of the decline in claims last week may have resulted from the way the government adjusts the data to smooth out seasonal fluctuations, economists said.
No, ALL of the decline, and more, resulted from the way the government adjusts the data to smooth out seasonal fluctuations.
The non-seasonally adjusted numbers are the real numbers, where one unemployment claim equals one person on unemployment.
As for people on the federal government's extended benefits:
EUC 2008: +16,370