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Jobless Claims: Surprising Declines

January 19, 2023
Bottom Line:   Jobless claims fell last week, sharply more than expected. And while some of the surprises in late December and early January were due to difficult season adjustments, the latest week was free of anomalous factors. The labor market remains surprisingly tight as many businesses appear willing to hold onto employees, even amid a downturn in activity, fearing they will be unable to find and hire qualified applicants when business improves. While this could change quickly, there are no signs of it yet.
Initial Jobless Claims FELL -15k  in the week ended January 14thto 190k, BELOW the 4-week average of 206k, BELOW the 13-week average of 218.07692k and -50k BELOW the year-ago level.  Non-seasonally adjusted Claims FELL -53.582k.
Continuing Claims ROSE 17k  in the week ended January 7thto 1.647M, BELOW the 4-week average of 1.673M, ABOVE the 13-week average of 1.598538M and -129k BELOW the year-ago level. Continuing Claims for the 31st of Dec were revised down from +1.634M to +1.63M.
Article by Contingent Macro