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Jobless Claims: Volatile Seasonal Adjustments, Steady Trend

January 26, 2017
Bottom Line: Seasonal adjustments continue to create volatility in jobless claims with the MLK Day holiday impacting the latest data. Seasonally adjusted claims rose 22k to 259k but unadjusted claims were down 69k. The 4-week average fell by 2k to 246k and the 13 week average was unchanged. Overall, despite difficult seasonal adjustments in the last 6 weeks, the labor market continues to improve modestly.

Jobless Claims ROSE by 22k during the week ended January 21st, 259k, compared with market expectations for an increase to 252k. The prior week was revised slightly lower from 247k to 237k. The 4-week average FELL by 2.0k to 246k and the 13 week average was UNCHANGED at 254k.

Continuing Claims ROSE by 41k during the week ended January 14th to 2,100k, after the prior week was revised slightly lower from 2,087k to 2,059k.The 4-week average FELL by 1k to 2,092k.

On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, Continuing Claims FELL by 57k to 2,462k during the week ended January 7th. The Insured Jobless Rate STAYED at 1.5% during the week ended January 14th. The insured jobless rate only reflects the number of people collecting regular state unemployment insurance.