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Jobless Claims:  Turning Lower Again

May 23, 2019
Bottom Line: With difficult seasonal adjustments largely behind us for now, claims returned to trending lower last week. The 4-week average is at 220k, still above the 13-week average that is now 215k. But it now appears the 4-week average is likely to dip back below the 13-week average by mid-June, an indication that labor market trends are still improving modestly.

Jobless Claims FELL by 1k during the week ended May 18th, 211k, compared with market expectations for an increase to 215k.The 4-week average FELL by 4.8k to 220k and the 13 week average FELL by 0.2k to 215k.

Continuing Claims ROSE by 12k during the week ended May 11st to 1,676k, after the prior week was revised slightly lower from 1,736k to 1,664k.The 4-week average ROSE by 6k to 1,674k.

On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, Continuing Claims FELL by 2k to 1,537k during the week ended May 4th.

The Insured Jobless Rate STAYED at 1.2% during the week ended May 11st. The insured jobless rate only reflects the number of people collecting regular state unemployment insurance.