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Jobless Claims: Improving Trend Gathers Steam

May 6, 2021
Bottom Line: Claims fell below 500k last week for the first time since the pandemic.  Improvement in labor market conditions continued amid more reopenings.  While still well above the pre-pandemic weekly average of 218k, we can now see a path to get back close to those levels.  
Our Nowcasting model shows the trend towards steady declines in claims has continued through yesterday, suggesting claims should fall to around 466k this week.
Jobless Claims FELL by 92k during the week ended May 1st to 498k, compared with market expectations for an increase to 538k. The 4-week average FELL by 61.0k to 560k and the 13 week average FELL by 26.1k to 699k.

Continuing Claims
ROSE by 37k during the week ended April 24th to 3,690k, The 4-week average FELL by 7k to 3,676k.
On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, Continuing Claims ROSE by 3k to 3,786k during the week ended April 17th.

The Insured Jobless Rate
STAYED at 2.6% during the week ended April 24th. The insured jobless rate only reflects the number of people collecting regular state unemployment insurance.