According to the meteorologists interpreting last week’s initial claims report, it must have snowed a lot in the week ended February 22, because while no states had any numbers estimated, the initial claims for the past week jumped by 14K, to 348,000 – the highest weekly number in all of 2014, and the biggest miss of expectations of 335K in a month, with the prior week’s print revised as usual higher by 2K to 336K.
Curiously while the Oracles attribute the seasonally adjusted number to seasonal factors (the NSA print actually dropped from 321K to 311K), the DOL itself said there were no special factors in last week’s claims figures. So someone is lying. What is not lying, is that as the chart below clearly shows, the weekly claims level is now back to levels last seen in July of 2013 and is continuing to deteriorate. A lot of snow must have fallen in the past 7 months to explain this.