Jobless Claims: Modest Decline Before Volatility Sets In

July 3, 2019
Bottom Line: Jobless claims fell last week, coming in slightly lower than expected after several weeks of increases. Some of the one-off state-level volatility in the prior week reversed course in the final week of June. Michigan, though, saw a sharp increase last week, potentially due to some early summer re-tooling at automakers and suppliers. Overall, while the level of claims is still historically quite low, there are hints of a potential bottoming. The 4-week average is at 222k, above the 13-week average that is now 218k, indicating the labor market trends is losing momentum. This bears watching closely in the coming weeks - but expect volatility due to the holiday and auto plant retooling. Jobless Claims FELL by 8k during the week ended June 29th, 221k, compared with market expectations for a decline to 223k.The 4-week average ROSE by 0.5k to 222k and the 13 week average ROSE by 1.3k to 218k. Continuing Claims FELL by 8k during the week ended June 22nd to 1,686k, after the prior week was revised slightly higher from 1,657k to 1,694k.The 4-week average FELL by 2k to 1,687k. On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, Continuing Claims ROSE by 21k to 1,580k during the week ended June 15th. The Insured Jobless Rate STAYED at 1.2% during the week ended June 22nd. The insured jobless rate only reflects the number of people collecting regular state unemployment insurance.