Jobless Claims:  Retreat As Seasonal Adjustment Abates

February 7, 2019
Bottom Line: Claims fell on a seasonally adjusted basis after last week's surprise jump that was mostly the result of difficult seasonal adjustments. Additionally, extremely cold temperatures and snow across much of the country appear to have caused elevated jobless claims. Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and New York all saw unusual spikes in claims last week. Looking through the recent volatility claims suggest continued steady, strength in labor markets amid some weather-related volatility. Jobless Claims FELL by 19k during the week ended February 2nd, 234k, compared with market expectations for a decline to 221k. The 4-week average ROSE by 4.5k to 225k and the 13 week average ROSE by 1.5k to 224k. Continuing Claims FELL by 42k during the week ended January 26th to 1,736k, after the prior week was revised modestly higher from 1,668k to 1,778k.The 4-week average ROSE by 4k to 1,741k. On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, Continuing Claims FELL by 26k to 2,099k during the week ended January 19th. The Insured Jobless Rate STAYED at 1.2% during the week ended January 26th. The insured jobless rate only reflects the number of people collecting regular state unemployment insurance.