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Jobless Claims: Another Week of Surprising Declines

January 26, 2023
Bottom Line:   Jobless claims fell last week, countering expectations for a rebound in the week that included the Monday Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. While the seasonal factor was significant, weather likely played a role, with claims in California dropping sharply in the wake of record rains. Still, looking through the seasonal and weather-related volatility, it is increasingly hard to explain away the renewed trend towards lower claims. 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 -6k  in the week ended January 21st to 186k, BELOW the 4-week average of 197.5k, BELOW the 13-week average of 215.84615k and -36k BELOW the year-ago level. Claims for the 7th of Jan were revised up from +205k to +206k. Claims for the 14th of Jan were revised up from +190k to +192k. Non-seasonally adjusted Claims FELL -63.849k.
Continuing Claims ROSE 20k  in the week ended January 14thto 1.675M, ABOVE the 4-week average of 1.66425M, ABOVE the 13-week average of 1.617385M but -112k BELOW the year-ago level. Continuing Claims for the 7th of Jan were revised up from +1.647M to +1.655M.
Article by Contingent Macro