Jobless Claims: Seasonal Adjustments Sparking Volatility

July 18, 2019
Bottom Line: Jobless claims rose last week, mostly due to the seasonal adjustment factor which had expected a smaller increase. Seasonal adjustments and collection differences at the state level created volatility, and that will likely continue for several more weeks in the summer season. Additionally, auto plant retooling will likely impact the data in coming weeks with temporary layoffs for auto workers. The 4-week average is at 219k, nearly in-line with the 13-week average , indicating the labor market trends are still mostly steady at historically low levels of claims overall. Jobless Claims ROSE by 8k during the week ended July 13th, 216k, compared with market expectations for an increase to 216k.The 4-week average FELL by 0.3k to 219k and the 13 week average ROSE by 1.8k to 220k. Continuing Claims FELL by 42k during the week ended July 6th to 1,686k, after the prior week was revised slightly higher from 1,657k to 1,728k.The 4-week average ROSE by 5k to 1,701k. On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, Continuing Claims ROSE by 89k to 1,699k during the week ended June 29th. The Insured Jobless Rate STAYED at 1.2% during the week ended July 6th. The insured jobless rate only reflects the number of people collecting regular state unemployment insurance.