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Jobless Claims: Decline Amid Seasonal Volatility

December 29, 2016
Bottom Line: Seasonal factors will continue to have a large impact on claims for at least another two weeks given the holidays and New Years. Last week saw an increase in claims of 25k but the seasonal adjustment factors were expecting 35k, thus the reported number declined by 10k. Still, while there has been some volatility, it has been less than in the past, adding to the notion that labor markets are rather steady. The 4-week average is just a touch about the 13-week average for claims and on top of the 52-week average.

Jobless Claims FELL by 10k during the week ended December 24th, 265k, compared with market expectations for a decline to 265k.The 4-week average FELL by 0.8k to 263k and the 13 week average ROSE by 0.8k to 257k.

Continuing Claims ROSE by 63k during the week ended December 17th to 2,102k, after the prior week was revised slightly higher from 2,018k to 2,039k.The 4-week average ROSE by 5k to 2,042k.

On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, Continuing Claims ROSE by 11k to 2,109k during the week ended December 10th. The Insured Jobless Rate STAYED at 1.5% during the week ended December 17th. The insured jobless rate only reflects the number of people collecting regular state unemployment insurance.