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Jobless Claims: Another Surprise Drop Amid Weather Volatility

September 21, 2017
Bottom Line: Claims rose in Florida but saw a sharp decline in Texas as hurricane-related volatility continued to influence data collection last week. There was also a surprising jump in California and Ohio claims. Despite all the state-level volatility, the nationwide un-adjusted tally for claims was barely changed, while the seasonal factor expected a decline of about 15k. The 4-week average is at 269k, above the 13-week average that is now 250k --- normally that might signal a turn in the trend, but amid so much weather-related volatility, it shows just how steady labor market growth is at overall strong levels nationally.

Jobless Claims FELL by 23k during the week ended September 16th, 259k, compared with market expectations for an increase to 300k.The 4-week average ROSE by 6.0k to 269k and the 13 week average ROSE by 1.3k to 250k.

Continuing Claims ROSE by 44k during the week ended September 9th to 1,980k, after the prior week was revised slightly lower from 1,940k to 1,936k.The 4-week average ROSE by 7k to 1,953k.

On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, Continuing Claims ROSE by 36k to 1,737k during the week ended September 2nd. The Insured Jobless Rate STAYED at 1.4% during the week ended September 9th. The insured jobless rate only reflects the number of people collecting regular state unemployment insurance.