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Jobless Claims: Surprise Decline Led By FL, TX

October 5, 2017
Bottom Line: As hurricane recovery continued in the final week of September, jobless claims unexpectedly declined, led by Florida and Georgia. Expect at least one more week of volatility in this data before any shift in trends can be ascertained. For now the nationwide labor market looks steady on a trend basis. The 4-week average is at 268k, above the 13-week average that is now 253k. Normally this might signal a shift in trend, but given the volatility and the scale of these weather events, that differential is relatively small.

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.