Jobless Claims:  Modest Decline, Still Hints of Concern

June 20, 2019
Bottom Line: Jobless claims inched lower last week, but the decline was due almost entirely to differences in the seasonal adjustments. While the level of claims is still historically quite low, there are hints of a potential bottoming. The four-week average is still holding above the 13-week average. Previous periods where the 4-week average rose above the 13-week average were mostly due to difficult seasonal adjustments or one-off events like weather. However, this time there are fewer reasons to explain away this potential turn in trend -- and this bears watching closely in the coming weeks, even amid some summer volatility. Jobless Claims FELL by 6k during the week ended June 15th, 216k, compared with market expectations for a decline to 220k.The 4-week average ROSE by 1.0k to 219k and the 13 week average was UNCHANGED by 0.0k to 215k. Continuing Claims FELL by 37k during the week ended June 8th to 1,662k, after the prior week was revised slightly higher from 1,657k to 1,699k.The 4-week average FELL by 5k to 1,679k. On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, Continuing Claims FELL by 19k to 1,519k during the week ended June 1st. The Insured Jobless Rate STAYED at 1.2% during the week ended June 8th. The insured jobless rate only reflects the number of people collecting regular state unemployment insurance.