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Jobless Claims:  Lowest Since 1969

January 24, 2019
Bottom Line: Jobless claims fell sharply, coming in well below expectations as several states had to estimate claims amid uncertainties related to the government shutdown. Additionally, there were heavy seasonal adjustments. That said, at just 199k, claims are at their lowest level since November, 1969. The 4-week average is at 215k, below the 13-week average that is now 219k, indicating the labor market trends remain strong. Expect volatility in coming weeks with the shutdown likely impacting workers in peripheral government sectors. Furloughed workers in most states are not be eligible to collect jobless claims since they will paid once the shutdown ends. However, uncertainty around those policies (which are state-based) will potentially create more volatility too.

Jobless Claims FELL by 13k during the week ended January 19th, 199k, compared with market expectations for an increase to 218k.The 4-week average FELL by 5.5k to 215k and the 13 week average FELL by 1.3k to 219k.

Continuing Claims FELL by 24k during the week ended January 12nd to 1,713k, after the prior week was revised slightly higher from 1,668k to 1,719k.The 4-week average ROSE by 1k to 1,730k.

On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, Continuing Claims FELL by 83k to 2,090k during the week ended January 5th.

The Insured Jobless Rate STAYED at 1.2% during the week ended January 12nd. The insured jobless rate only reflects the number of people collecting regular state unemployment insurance.