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Jobless Claims: All Sorts of Ways to Explain It, But The Trend Is Higher

December 6, 2018
Bottom Line: Claims fell less than expected last week as seasonal adjustments prove very difficult this time of year. Seasonal factors, typically on the order of 10-20k, were over 100k in the final week of November as the Labor Department report attempted to adjust for the Thanksgiving Holiday. The trend in claims has turned higher in the last few months -- while much of this can be attributed to weather and natural disasters starting in the Fall, this bears watching into the early part of 2019.

Jobless Claims FELL by 4k during the week ended December 1st, 231k, compared with market expectations for a decline to 220k.The 4-week average ROSE by 4.3k to 228k and the 13 week average ROSE by 2.0k to 216k.

Continuing Claims FELL by 74k during the week ended November 24th to 1,631k, after the prior week was revised slightly higher from 1,668k to 1,705k.The 4-week average ROSE by 0k to 1,667k.

On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, Continuing Claims ROSE by 222k to 1,660k during the week ended November 17th.

The Insured Jobless Rate FELL by 0.1% to 1.1% during the week ended November 24th. The insured jobless rate only reflects the number of people collecting regular state unemployment insurance.