(The original title of this post was "Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Evidence.")
New unemployment claims were down from last week, but the data is so noisy that rolling averages have to be used.
The four week average of the raw numbers is still highly variable. The peaks are after Christmas and in early July. The year over year increase for both the unadjusted and seasonally adjusted numbers is huge.
New claims are already at a higher level than during the past two recessions. This graph also shows that new claims versus various population measures has come down over time. This is due mostly to the growth of employment that isn't covered by unemployment insurance.