Seasonal Adjustment Won't Help Unemployment Numbers

Includes: DIA, SPY
by: Brad DeLong

Economagic: Economic Chart Dispenser

Unemployment Insurance claims rose from 452,000 last week to 504,000 this week, but the seasonal adjustment factor fell from +72,000 to +10,000, leaving seasonally-adjusted claims falling from 524,000 to 514,000.

The seasonal adjustment factors in a normal year tell us that weekly unadjusted claims should now rise by an additional 150,000 between now and January (with a partial rollback for the Christmas rush). But does anybody think that the seasonal adjustment factors are the same in deep recession than they are in normal times? And does anybody know what the right seasonal adjustment factors in deep recession are?

Talk about your one-data-point regressions.