Sunday, June 12, 2011

Weekly Jobless Claims - Advance Estimates and Final Estimates

Whenever one reads the weekly jobless claim update, one of the highest frequency datasets out there, there are always two new pieces of information in the top line: the advance numbers for that week, and the revised estimate for the previous week.  The revised estimate is always higher than the advance numbers, because there are more delayed unemployment claims.  This would be an innocuous difference, but newspapers and even the report itself always compare the current week's (underestimated) numbers to the last week's (not-underestimated) numbers.  They're always overstating how good this week looks compared to last, and not always by the same amount, as we depict graphically below (click to enlarge).  The figure displays the difference between initial and final estimates for the last few months.

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