That Great "New Jobless" Number Today

Perhaps you read that there was a “dip” in the “new jobless” number this week. It was a “seasonally adjusted number:

In Washington, the Labor Department (news – web sites) said new claims for unemployment benefits fell sharply last week. It said that for the work week ending Dec. 13, new applications for benefits declined by a seasonally adjusted 22,000 to 353,000, the lowest level since Nov. 1. The drop was much larger than economists were expecting.

What were the UNADJUSTED numbers? From the Labor Department’s report, ETA Press Release: Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report:

“The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 411,081 in the week ending Dec. 13, a decrease of 75,048 from the previous week. There were 486,258 initial claims in the comparable week in 2002. “

The ACTUAL new jobless number was 411,258. That’s not good at all.