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Jobless Claims: Holding Near Record Lows

February 23, 2017
Bottom Line: Initial jobless claims rebounded modestly but are holding near the recent lows with the 4-week average at the lowest level since July, 1973. These data are for the survey week for the February employment report due on March 10th and suggest that employment gains should remain robust -- current consensus is for 183k new non-farm payroll jobs, down from 237k in January. This report, while not the most reliable predictor of month-to-month non-farm payroll growth, would suggest modest upside to the consensus. The trend remains towards modest improvements in labor markets.

Jobless Claims ROSE by 6k during the week ended February 18th, 244k, compared with market expectations for an increase to 240k.The 4-week average FELL by 4.0k to 241k and the 13 week average FELL by 0.5k to 251k.

Continuing Claim FELL by 17k during the week ended February 11st to 2,060k, after the prior week was revised slightly higher from 2,076k to 2,077k.The 4-week average FELL by 11k to 2,070k.

On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, Continuing Claims ROSE by 21k to 2,486k during the week ended February 4th.

The Insured Jobless Rate STAYED at 1.5% during the week ended February 11st. The insured jobless rate only reflects the number of people collecting regular state unemployment insurance.