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Jobless Claims: Another Swift Decline

February 4, 2021
Bottom Line: As shutdowns ended in many parts of the country, jobless claims declined. Seasonal adjustments declined and severe states like California and Illinois corrected anomalous readings from prior, net revising down their previous tallies of claims. The trend, as measured by the 4-week average vs. the 13-week average is still up, but the shorter average is finally converging towards the long-term average.  Overall, labor markets are slowly improving again after the winter shutdowns for the virus.
Our Nowcasting model forecast a decline to 805k for non-seasonally adjusted claims, just a touch below the actual reading of 816k.   The model suggests claims have fallen even further this week, dropping below 800k, to be reported next Thursday.
Jobless Claims FELL by 33k during the week ended January 30th to 779k, compared with market expectations for an increase to 830k. The 4-week average FELL by 1.3k to 848k and the 13-week average ROSE by 1.7k to 806k.
Continuing Claims
FELL by 193k during the week ended January 23th to 4,592k, The 4-week average FELL by 120k to 4,882k.
On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, Continuing Claims FELL by 128k to 5,095k during the week ended January 16th.
The Insured Jobless Rate
FELL by  0.2% to 3.2% during the week ended January 23th. The insured jobless rate only reflects the number of people collecting regular state unemployment insurance.