Jobless Claims: Modest Decline As 4-Week Average Turns Lower

January 9, 2020
Bottom Line: Seasonally adjusted claims fell modestly in the week that included New Year's Day. Actual claims rose nearly 23k, while the seasonal factor expected an increase of about 36k. On a trend basis and looking through the volatility, the 4-week average fell, now at 224k, nearly in-line with the 13-week average that is now 222k. While the next few weeks will be important for assessing the trend, it appears that most of the recent jump in claims was due to seasonal factors and not a major shift in trend. Jobless Claims FELL by 9k during the week ended January 4th, 214k, compared with market expectations for a decline to 220k.The 4-week average FELL by 9.5k to 224k and the 13 week average ROSE by 0.3k to 222k. Continuing Claims ROSE by 75k during the week ended December 28th to 1,803k, after the prior week was revised slightly lower from 1,728k to 1,723k.The 4-week average ROSE by 33k to 1,745k. On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, Continuing Claims ROSE by 370k to 2,146k during the week ended December 21st. The Insured Jobless Rate STAYED at 1.2% during the week ended December 28th. The insured jobless rate only reflects the number of people collecting regular state unemployment insurance.