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Jobless Claims: Modest Increase, Still Uncertain Tally Due to Hurricanes

September 28, 2017
Bottom Line: While the headline rise was modest, state-level jobless claims continued to show substantial volatility due to the hurricanes. Florida saw a sharp rise in claims, while Texas fell. And while Puerto Rico is small in terms of national impact, claims included in this report for Puerto Rico were a federal staff estimate, which was oddly lower. For now the national trend has shifted only modestly weaker -- the 4-week average is at 278k, modestly above the 13-week average that is now 252k -- but this reading is subject to substantial revisions and at least another week or two of substantial volatility.

Jobless Claims ROSE by 12k during the week ended September 23th, 272k, compared with market expectations for an increase to 270k.The 4-week average ROSE by 9.0k to 278k and the 13 week average ROSE by 2.2k to 252k.

Continuing Claims FELL by 45k during the week ended September 16th to 1,934k, after the prior week was revised slightly lower from 1,980k to 1,979k.The 4-week average FELL by 3k to 1,950k. On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, Continuing Claims FELL by 94k to 1,642k during the week ended September 9th.

The Insured Jobless Rate STAYED at 1.4% during the week ended September 16th. The insured jobless rate only reflects the number of people collecting regular state unemployment insurance.