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Jobless Claims: Decline Back Towards Trend

April 6, 2017
Bottom Line: While too late to impact tomorrow's non-farm payroll report, claims nearly reached the February lows last week after volatility in the first half of March. The trend is resuming toward steady improvement. The 4-week average is at 250k, still above the 13-week average that is now 246k. Normally an indicator of a turn, the recent volatility is mainly due to seasonal adjustments, and the 4-week average will likely move back below the 13-week over the coming month.

Jobless Claims FELL by 25k during the week ended April 1st, 234k, compared with market expectations for a decline to 250k.The 4-week average FELL by 4.5k to 250k and the 13 week average FELL by 0.5k to 246k.

Continuing Claims FELL by 24k during the week ended March 25th to 2,028k, after the prior week was revised slightly lower from 2,052k to 1,987k.The 4-week average FELL by 8k to 2,023k.

On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, Continuing Claims FELL by 69k to 2,217k during the week ended March 18th.

The Insured Jobless Rate STAYED at 1.5% during the week ended March 25th. The insured jobless rate only reflects the number of people collecting regular state unemployment insurance.