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Jobless Claims: Slight Increase, Nowcast Notably Higher

January 6, 2022
Bottom Line: Claims rose slightly on a seasonally adjusted basis in the final week of 2021 as unadjusted claims jumped following the Christmas holiday. Claims were slightly above the 4-week average of 204k but were still well below the 13-week average of 239k, suggesting the trend was unchanged amid heavily seasonal adjustments.
That said, our Nowcast model, which only uses non-seasonally adjusted data, suggests claims have been running a touch higher than reported. Unadjusted claims were just over 315k, and our model for this week was running at 420k, implying that there are pent-up claims in the system that may come through in the coming weeks. This bears close watching as January evolves.
Initial Jobless Claims ROSE 7k in the week ended January 1st to 207k, ABOVE the 4-week average of 204k, BELOW the 13-week average of 239k but 574k BELOW the year-ago level. Claims for the 25th of Dec were revised up from +198k to +200k. Non-seasonally adjusted Claims  57.6k.
Continuing Claims ROSE 36k in the week ended December 25th to 1.75M, BELOW the 4-week average of 1.8M, BELOW the 13-week average of 2.07M and 3.43M BELOW the year-ago level. Continuing Claims for the 18th of Dec were revised up slightly.
The Insured Jobless Rate was unchanged in the week ended December 25th. The insured jobless rate only reflects the number of people collecting regular state unemployment insurance.