New Initial Claims Today

Unemployment claims fell to below 1 million again, but the actual adjusted number rose by 8000.

The fall is because the DOL changed its seasonal adjustment formula for this report.

Also note that Pandemic Unemployment Assistance(PUA) initial claims for self-employed and gig workers, rose by over 150,000 to 759K.

I know that people dismiss the possibility that eh “Professionals” at the Department of Labor are bending to the political winds blowing from 1600 Pennsylvania avenue, but every one of these adjustments seems to favor the Trump administration:

Note: The DOL has changed their seasonal adjustment method, so to compare to the previous week, we need to use the NSA data.  See Technical Note on Weekly Unemployment Claims

The Not Seasonally Adjusted (NSA) claims increased to 833,352 from 825,761 the previous week. These are directly comparable since the Seasonal Adjustment Factor was identical for both weeks.

The DOL reported:

In the week ending August 29, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 881,000, a decrease of 130,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised up by 5,000 from 1,006,000 to 1,011,000. The 4-week moving average was 991,750, a decrease of 77,500 from the previous week’s revised average.
The previous week’s average was revised up by 1,250 from 1,068,000 to 1,069,250.

emphasis added

The previous week was revised up.

This does not include the 759,482 initial claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) that was up from 607,808 the previous week.

I’m not saying that the DOL is juicing the numbers, the seasonal adjustment needed to be  ……… well ……… adjusted, but it does seem that the DOL is spinning the numbers.


  1. Quasit says:

    Thing is, lying about the numbers doesn't change reality. If there are a million new people out of work, calling them 800k doesn't make those 200k disappear.

    And as the number of desperate unemployed Americans increases, along with the massive number of Americans who will soon be evicted from their homes…well, what are the odds that all those people will quietly and politely crawl away and die?

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