Jobless Claims: New Claims Decline Moderately

March 10, 2016
Bottom Line: Initial claims declined moderately and are at their lowest level since October. The 4-week average is at 270k, below the 13-week average that is now 275k, indicating the labor market trends are improving modestly. The continuing claims fell slightly and remained on their 6-year long declining trend. Jobless Claims FELL by 18k during the week ended March 5th to 259k, the lowest level since October, compared with market expectations for a decrease to 275k. The prior week was revised slightly lower from 278k to 277k. The 4-week average FELL by 2k to 270k and the 13 week average FELL by 2k to 275k. Initial claims have been on a declining trend over the past 6 years but the pace of decline has now slowed. Continuing Claims FELL by 32k during the week ended February 27th to 2,225k. The 4-week average FELL by 5k to 2,252k. Continuing claims have also been on a declining trend for more than 5 years. On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, Continuing Claims ROSE by 58k to 2,670k during the week ended February 20th. Despite this week's increase, continuing claims have been declining amid modest volatility for the past six years. The Insured Jobless Rate STAYED at 1.7% during the week ended February 27th. The insured jobless rate only reflects the number of people collecting regular state unemployment insurance.
Article by contingentmacro