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Jobless Claims: Surprise Bounce Ahead of Holiday Weekend

April 8, 2021
Bottom Line: Claims rose more than expected in the week that included the Good Friday holiday. California employment offices processed a large batch of claims that accounted for much of the upside surprise.  Moreover, the two weeks around the Easter holiday can often create some difficult seasonal adjustments.  Looking through the one-off batches and seasonal volatility, the trend remains modestly lower, suggesting steady improvement in labor markets.
Our Nowcasting model predicted the potential for a one-off upside in claims last week but now suggests the downtrend should resume with claims likely dropping back towards 700k this week.
Jobless Claims ROSE by 16k during the week ended April 3rd to 744k, compared with market expectations for a drop to 680k. The 4-week average ROSE by 2.5k to 724k and the 13-week average FELL by 2.8k to 793k.
Continuing Claims
FELL by 16k during the week ended March 27th to 3,734k, The 4-week average FELL by 106k to 3,862k.
On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, Continuing Claims FELL by 68k to 4,032k during the week ended March 20th.
The Insured Jobless Rate
STAYED at 2.6% during the week ended March 27th. The insured jobless rate only reflects the number of people collecting regular state unemployment insurance.