Big Jump In Jobless Claims Blamed On Seasonal Factors | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Filed Under:

Big Jump In Jobless Claims Blamed On Seasonal Factors

Data such as the weekly figures on jobless claims are supposed to be "seasonally adjusted" to account for temporary factors that aren't really connected to the underlying strength or weakness of the economy.

But Thursday morning's report seems to underscore how hard it can be to make such adjustments.

According to the Employment and Training Administration, there were 368,000 first-time claims filed for jobless benefits last week — far above the 300,000 applications the week before.

Bloomberg News says that "the data reflect seasonal adjustment volatility around the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, a Labor Department spokesman said as the figures were released." Reuters adds that the Labor Department analyst said "that seasonal volatility, including a late Thanksgiving, made it difficult adjusting the data for seasonal variations."

The test of whether Thursday's report is or isn't a true deviation from the recent trend of generally good news about the labor market will come next week, of course, when the agency issues new data on jobless claims and possibly revises the figures it released today.

Thursday morning's other economic news was more positive. The Census Bureau said retail sales rose 0.7 percent in November from October. Bloomberg News notes the increase was a bit more than expected and is a sign that "Americans bought cars and took advantage of discounts going into the holiday-shopping season."

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

For Paul Cezanne, An Apple A Day Kept Obscurity Away

In the 1800s, still-life painting was the bottom feeder of the art world, but that's where the French painter chose to leave his mark. "I want to astonish Paris with an apple," he's said to have said.
NPR

From McDonald's To Organic Valley, You're Probably Eating Wood Pulp

Many processed foods contain cellulose, which is plant fiber that is commonly extracted from wood. It's used to add texture, prevent caking and boost fiber. And it's been around for ages.
WAMU 88.5

Virginia Democrats And Republicans Fight Over Investigating Senator's Resignation

Democrats and Republicans in Virginia are at odds over the value of investigating the state Senator Phil Puckett, who resigned last month to take a job at a state tobacco commission — and turned the Senate over to Republicans.
NPR

What Burritos And Sandwiches Can Teach Us About Innovation

Is a burrito a sandwich? The answer may sound simple to you ... but the question gets at the very heart of a tension that's existed for ages.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.