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Jobless Claims: Modest Decline

January 21, 2021
Bottom Line: Jobless claims fell modestly last week on a seasonally adjusted basis, but were sharply lower on an unadjusted basis.  Seasonal adjustments remained heavy and will continue to impact this report for another week.  Claims in California fell sharply but were an estimate, suggesting the potential for revisions in the next few weeks.  Overall, the recent sharp uptick in claims has lost some momentum but remains concerning -- the 4-week average remains above the 13-week average.
Our Nowcasting model forecasted correctly last week's decline.  The model suggests claims have fallen even further this week, to be reported next Thursday.
Jobless Claims FELL by 26k during the week ended January 16th to 900k, compared with market expectations for a decline to 935k. The 4-week average ROSE by 23.5k to 850k and the 13-week average ROSE by 7.9k to 803k.
Continuing Claims FELL by 127k during the week ended January 9th to 5,054k, after the prior week was revised slightly higher from 5,271k to 5,181k. The 4-week average FELL by 67k to 5,126k.
On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, Continuing Claims FELL by 204k to 5,563k during the week ended January 2nd.

The Insured Jobless Rate
STAYED at 3.6% during the week ended January 9th. The insured jobless rate only reflects the number of people collecting regular state unemployment insurance.