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Potential Further SA Distortion, This Time Biasing Claims Lower

  • In the opposite to last week’s print, we warn that the seasonal adjustment process looks particularly kind (i.e. biasing SA claims lower) this week, at least when compared to a crude comparison of weekly changes in ‘normal’ years defined as 2016-19 and 2022.
  • NSA initial claims increased 21.3k to 239k in the week to Nov 18 compared to an average 6k for the same week in those prior years, yet the seasonally adjusted weekly figure declined 24k. The difference implies the adjustment was favorable to the tune of 39k, the most so far this year.
  • There’s a similar story in continuing claims. They increased 75k in the NSA data in the week to Nov 11 compared to an average 42k, yet the seasonally adjusted figure fell by 22k. It yields the most favorable figure of the year straight after the prior week’s least favorable result.

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