Jobless Claims: Holiday Hangover

November 29, 2018
Bottom Line: Claims jumped last week but only because of difficult seasonal adjustments that would give even the most astute statistician a headache. Actual claims fell by about 7k but were expected to fall 17k, according to the seasonal model. There's been a clear shift in trend since September towards modestly higher jobless claims -- but we are looking at that very cautiously as hurricanes, then fires and now difficult seasonal adjustments have all pushed claims modestly higher. We believe it is too early to suggest there is a shift in the very strong labor market trends -- but we'll be watching this closely coming into 2019. Jobless Claims ROSE by 2k during the week ended November 10th, 216k, compared with market expectations for a decline to 213k.The 4-week average ROSE by 1.5k to 215k and the 13 week average ROSE by 0.3k to 211k. Continuing Claims ROSE by 46k during the week ended November 3rd to 1,676k, after the prior week was revised slightly lower from 1,661k to 1,630k.The 4-week average ROSE by 9k to 1,644k. On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, Continuing Claims ROSE by 50k to 1,442k during the week ended October 27th. The Insured Jobless Rate ROSE by 0.1% to 1.2% during the week ended November 3rd. The insured jobless rate only reflects the number of people collecting regular state unemployment insurance.