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Jobless Claims: Decline Amid Seasonal Volatility 

January 5, 2017

Bottom Line: Seasonal factors will have a large impact on claims for at least another week given the holidays and New Years. Last week saw an increase in claims of 10k on a non-seasonally adjusted basis but the seasonal adjustment factors were expecting 51k, which was the largest factor contributing to the decline of 28k to 235k. Looking at averages ahead of tomorrow's non-farm payroll report we note that the 4-week average of claims was 257k at the end of December versus 252k at the end of the November, a very small difference. The survey week for the payroll report, however, showed a significant difference, though, 275k in the week ended December 17th versus 233k in the week ended November 12th. That would suggest some downside risk to the current consensus of 180k for December (versus 178k previously reported for November.

Jobless Claims FELL by 28k during the week ended December 31st, 235k, compared with market expectations for an increase to 260k.The prior week was revised slightly lower from 265k to 263k.The 4-week average FELL by 5.8k to 257k and the 13 week average FELL by 0.8k to 256k.

Continuing Claims ROSE by 16k during the week ended December 24th to 2,112k, after the prior week was revised slightly lower from 2,102k to 2,096k.The 4-week average ROSE by 26k to 2,067k.

On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, Continuing Claims ROSE by 147k to 2,250k during the week ended December 17th.

The Insured Jobless Rate STAYED at 1.5% during the week ended December 24th. The insured jobless rate only reflects the number of people collecting regular state unemployment insurance.

Article by Contingent Macro Advisors