For the week ending Aug. 29, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial unemployment claims was 881,000, the Department of Labor said — a decrease of 130,000 from the previous week's revised level.
What Happened: Thursday’s numbers were the first release done using new Labor Department adjustment factors. The DOL said that starting with Thursday's release, reports will include additive factors over multiplicative factors.
This adjustment is being used to reflect more seasonal fluctuations and factors in a series, as well reduce the need for future revisions.
“Seasonal factors include (in its simplest form) the hiring of lifeguards in the late spring and then layoffs of those workers when beaches are closed in early fall,” Joseph Brusuelas, chief economist at RSM US LLP, said in an email.
With the new adjustment, it's not advised to compare this week's seasonal adjustments to prior ones.
The Thursday report also announced revisions to the previous week's data, with the largest increases in claims for the week ending Aug. 22 occurring in California, Illinois and Pennsylvania. Florida, Texas and New Jersey all experienced the largest decrease in claims during that period.
What’s Next: On Friday, the national unemployment rate number will be released. The most recent number put the national unemployment rate at 10.2%.
Much of this gain can be attributed to increases in the health and education field as many schools begin another school year.
“The August job postings demonstrate a slow recovery,” Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president and co-head of the ADP Research Institute, said in the report.
Benzinga’s Take: Initial jobless claims remaining as high as they are points to a slower economic recovery. Expect these numbers to increase even more after recent company layoff announcements from large employers including Ford (NYSE:F), Delta (NYSE:DAL) and United Airlines (NASDAQ:UAL).