Jobless Claims: Holiday Masks Sticky Claims

December 3, 2020
Bottom Line: Claims fell in the week ended November 28th mostly due to difficult seasonal adjustments around the Thanksgiving week. The unadjusted tally of initial jobless claims fell more than 122k, but the seasonal factor expected a decline of just over 47k. The timing of the Thanksgiving holiday makes traditional seasonal adjustments difficult. Such adjustments will be less of an issue over the remainder of the year. Our Nowcasting model for claims suggests claims have remained sticky around 700k this week. Overall, claims are still heading in the right direction but proving stubborn around the current levels, and bear watching for signs that labor market improvement may be stalling. Jobless Claims FELL by 75k during the week ended November 28th to 712k, compared with market expectations for an increase to 775k.The 4-week average FELL by 11.3k to 740k and the 13 week average FELL by 13.2k to 797k. Continuing Claims FELL by 569k during the week ended November 21st to 5,520k, after the prior week was revised moderately lower from 13,385k to 6,089k.The 4-week average FELL by 426k to 6,194k. On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, Continuing Claims FELL by 690k to 5,241k during the week ended November 14th. The Insured Jobless Rate FELL by 0.4% to 3.8% during the week ended November 21st. The insured jobless rate only reflects the number of people collecting regular state unemployment insurance.