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Jobless Claims: Slight Rebound, Trend Still Lower

August 24, 2017

Bottom Line: After hitting new lows in the week ended August 12th, claims rebounded less than expected last week as labor market trends remained positive. The 4-week average is at 238k, below the 13-week average that is now 242k. There were no major irregularities in the state-level data. That said, the low volatility in claims does not necessarily mean we should expect a consensus jobs report for August -- with an early cutoff date for the August nonfarm payroll report, labor statisticians will need to estimate many sectors like education and retail staffed with students. Those factors have little impact on claims, but a significant impact on payrolls.

Jobless Claims ROSE by 2k during the week ended August 19th, 234k, compared with market expectations for an increase to 238k.The 4-week average FELL by 2.8k to 238k and the 13 week average FELL by 0.1k to 242k.

Continuing Claims were UNCHANGED during the week ended August 12nd at 1,954k, after the prior week was revised slightly higher from 1,951k to 1,954k.The 4-week average FELL by 3k to 1,958k. On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, Continuing Claims FELL by 4k to 1,885k during the week ended August 5th.

The Insured Jobless Rate STAYED at 1.4% during the week ended August 12nd. The insured jobless rate only reflects the number of people collecting regular state unemployment insurance.

Article by Contingent Macro Advisors