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Jobless Claims:  Decline Mostly A Seasonal Adjustment

January 10, 2019

Bottom Line: Claims fell more than expected in the first week of January, mostly due to difficult seasonal adjustments around the New Year's holiday. Non-seasonally adjusted claims were up 21k, but seasonal factors had expected an increase of nearly 49k. Claims were volatile across states, likely confirming varying impacts of the holiday on claims. While the the 4-week average at 222k is above the 13-week average, 220k, there is no clear shift in trend yet given the seasonal volatility and overall still low level of claims.

Jobless Claims FELL by 17k during the week ended January 5th, 216k, compared with market expectations for a decline to 226k.The 4-week average ROSE by 2.5k to 222k and the 13 week average ROSE by 0.1k to 220k.

Continuing Claims FELL by 28k during the week ended December 29th to 1,722k, after the prior week was revised slightly higher from 1,668k to 1,750k.The 4-week average ROSE by 15k to 1,721k.

On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, Continuing Claims ROSE by 281k to 2,080k during the week ended December 22nd.

The Insured Jobless Rate STAYED at 1.2% during the week ended December 29th. The insured jobless rate only reflects the number of people collecting regular state unemployment insurance.

Article by Contingent Macro Advisors