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Jobless Claims:  4-week low, trend still losing momentum

August 18, 2016

Bottom Line: Initial claims declined slightly and are at their lowest level in the last four weeks. The 4-week average is at 265k, now just above the 13-week average of 264k, indicating the steady trend towards improvement is losing momentum.That said, the 13-week average is still holding below the 52-week average. Finally, these data are for the survey week for the August Employment Situation report--the weekly figure is slightly higher than in July while the 4-week average is slightly lower than than in July, suggesting modest hiring and a pace of payroll growth similar to July.

Jobless Claims FELL by 4k during the week ended August 13rd to 262k, compared with market expectations for a decline to 265k. The prior week was revised slightly lower from 269k to 267k. The 4-week average ROSE by 3k to 265k. and the 13 week average FELL by 1k to 264k. Initial claims have been on a declining trend over the past 6 years but the pace of decline has now slowed.

Continuing Claims ROSE by 15k during the week ended August 6th to 2,175k, after the prior week was revised slightly higher from 2,138k to 2,160k. The 4-week average ROSE by 11k to 2,155k. Despite this week's increase, continuing claims have also been on a declining trend for more than 6 years. On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, Continuing Claims FELL by 27k to 2,083k during the week ended July 30th. The Insured Jobless Rate STAYED at 1.6% during the week ended August 6th. The insured jobless rate only reflects the number of people collecting regular state unemployment insurance.

Article by contingentmacro