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Jobless Claims: Seasonals Cause Modest Increase

February 27, 2020

Bottom Line: Initial jobless claims fell just over 10k on an unadjusted basis in the week that included President's Day, but the seasonal adjustment factor had expected a decline of nearly 18k, sending the headline figure up about 8k. Overall, the trend was little changed. The 4-week average was 210k, still below the 13-week average, 218k, a positive signal for labor market trends. We noted here that non-seasonally adjusted continuing claims (bottom chart) had edged above previous seasonal highs - that continued to fall last week, making it less concerning but still worth watching.

Jobless Claims ROSE by 8k during the week ended February 22nd to 219k, compared with market expectations for an increase to 212k. The 4-week average ROSE by 0.5k to 210k and the 13 week average ROSE by 0.5k to 218k.

Continuing Claims FELL by 9k during the week ended February 15th to 1,724k, after the prior week was revised slightly higher from 1,726k to 1,733k. The 4-week average ROSE by 5k to 1,729k.

On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, Continuing Claims FELL by 35k to 2,064k during the week ended February 8th.

The Insured Jobless Rate STAYED at 1.2% during the week ended February 15th. The insured jobless rate only reflects the number of people collecting regular state unemployment insurance.

Article by Contingent Macro Advisors