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Jobless Claims: Still Over 250k

January 27, 2022
Bottom Line: Claims fell last week after jumping sharply in the previous two weeks. The trend is mixed to higher at this point, with the 4-week average now above the 13-week average. However, we should caveat that heavy seasonal adjustments with many states providing only estimates of claims in the first few weeks of the New Year suggest this could still prove to be a blip in trend. That said, households continue to struggle with issues like childcare when a member of their household gets a positive Covid test, making it challenging to meet the demands of employment that must be done on-site.
Our Nowcast index is also trending higher and suggests we could see continued readings in the 250 - 300k range for at least a couple more weeks. So far, this shift in trend for claims appeared not to be a concern for the Fed as Chair Powell continued to describe the labor market as robust in his press conference yesterday.
Initial Jobless Claims
FELL 30k in the week ended January 22nd to 260k, ABOVE the 4-week average of 247k, ABOVE the 13-week average of 232.15385k but 576k BELOW the year-ago level. Claims for the 15th of Jan were revised up from +286k to +290k. Non-seasonally adjusted Claims FELL 73.357k.
Continuing Claims ROSE 51k in the week ended January 15th to 1.675M, ABOVE the 4-week average of 1.65175M, BELOW the 13-week average of 1.882692M but 3.203M BELOW the year-ago level. Continuing Claims for the 8th of Jan were revised down from +1.635M to +1.624M.
The Insured Jobless Rate was unchanged in the week ended January 15thThe insured jobless rate only reflects the number of people collecting regular state unemployment insurance.