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Jobless Claims: Modest Decline, Trend Still Lower

December 30, 2021
Bottom Line: Claims fell slightly, dipping back below 200k on a seasonally adjusted basis last week. The 4-week average fell below 200k for the first time since the pandemic. Moreover, the 13-week average was 248k, suggesting the trend was firmly still lower.
Our Nowcast model, which only uses non-seasonally adjusted data, suggests claims have been running a touch higher than reported. While we expect no significant change in trend, we could see a modest increase in the new year as applications for benefits get processed.
Initial Jobless Claims FELL 8k in the week ended December 25th to 198k, BELOW the 4-week average of 199k, BELOW the 13-week average of 248k and 565k BELOW the year-ago level. Claims for the 18th of Dec were revised up from +205k to +206k. Non-seasonally adjusted Claims were nearly unchanged,  up 1.12k.
Continuing Claims FELL 140k in the week ended December 18th to 1.72M, BELOW the 4-week average of 1.86M, BELOW the 13-week average of 2.15M and 3.6M BELOW the year-ago level. Continuing Claims for the 11th of Dec were revised down from +1.86M to +1.86M.
The Insured Jobless Rate FELL 10bps in the week ended December 18th. The insured jobless rate only reflects the number of people collecting regular state unemployment insurance.