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Jobless Claims: Continued Declines

May 27, 2021
Bottom Line: Claims fell even more than expected last week, just over 400k and trending in the right direction.  The volatility of the weekly data has been low with few holiday disruptions and minimal processing anomalies.  The trend is lower amid continued reopenings and vaccine distribution. The four-week average fell below 500k for the first time since the pandemic.  Nearly 150k below the 13-week average, this suggests a strongly improving trend in labor markets.  While hiring may remain less predictable with skills mismatches and many people still at home juggling childcare schedules, fewer people are applying for unemployment claims.
Our Nowcasting model correctly suggested claims would dip below 425k last week. Expect the Memorial Day holiday to impact claims in the coming two weeks.  Our model suggests a slight uptick ahead of the holiday weekend.
Jobless Claims FELL by 38k during the week ended May 22nd to 406k, compared with market expectations for an increase to 425k.The 4-week average FELL by 46.0k to 459k and the 13-week average FELL by 26.2k to 613k.
Continuing Claims
FELL by 96k during the week ended May 15th to 3,642k, The 4-week average FELL by 3k to 3,675k.
On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, Continuing Claims FELL by 150k to 3,521k during the week ended May 8th.
The Insured Jobless Rate
FELL by  0.1% to 2.6% during the week ended May 15th. The insured jobless rate only reflects the number of people collecting regular state unemployment insurance.