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Jobless Claims: "Normal" Seasonal Volatility

December 21, 2017
Bottom Line: Claims jumped in the second week of December, almost entirely due to seasonal adjustments. The Department of Labor's seasonal factor had expected a decline of 18k, compared to an actual, unadjusted increase of 4k. Expect more volatility amid the holiday season. For now the trend remains towards modest strength in labor markets.

Jobless Claims ROSE by 20k during the week ended December 16th, 245k, compared with market expectations for an increase to 236k.The 4-week average ROSE by 1.3k to 236k and the 13 week average FELL by 1.2k to 241k.

Continuing Claims ROSE by 43k during the week ended December 9th to 1,932k, after the prior week was revised slightly lower from 1,908k to 1,889k.The 4-week average ROSE by 4k to 1,923k. On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, Continuing Claims ROSE by 96k to 1,962k during the week ended December 2nd.

The Insured Jobless Rate ROSE by 0.1% to 1.4% during the week ended December 9th. The insured jobless rate only reflects the number of people collecting regular state unemployment insurance.