July 18, 2013

Jobless Report Looks Fine until you Read Details

July 18, 2013

Jobless Report Looks Fine until you Read Details

Jobless Claims  (week ended 7/13/2013)

– New Claims (Seasonally Adjusted) 334,000. Previous was 360,000

– 4-week Moving Average   346,000.  Previous was 351,750

– Unadjusted New Claims totaled 408,710 in the week ending July 13, an increase of 25,350 from the previous week.

– The total number of people collecting  UI benefits in state programs last week totaled 3,144,838, an increase of 333,812 from the previous week.

– This is one of those days which makes me scratch my head at how poor the reporting of economic data is.  If you just look at New Claims seasonally adjusted things look fine.  If you take 2 minutes to open the wrapping, the inside looks a bit different.  Bloomberg headline says “U.S. Stocks Rise as Jobless Claims Drop.”  The Dow is rising to a record level.  The bump in equities may be due to Bernanke’s indication that the Fed is not going to ease QE soon.

What I see is very sluggish GDP growth, a jobs market which is only adding part-time jobs and investors who are ecstatic about that. I must be the guy who is confused.

Philadelphia Federal Reserve Survey  (July 2013)
– General Business Conditions Index 19.8. Previous was 12.5.

– This indicates an improving manufacturing sector in the region.

Leading Indicators (June 2013)
– Leading Indicators Month/Month  +0.0%. Previous was +0.1%.

– Leading Indicators is an index calculated by the Conference Board from various other bits of data such as money supply and interest rates.