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Jobless Claims: Still Below 200k

February 23, 2023
Bottom Line:  Jobless claims dropped to their lowest level in four weeks, countering expectations for a rebound to 200k. Our Nowcast model suggested declines last week and suggests claims have remained stubbornly low this week. While the models have forecast claims correctly, the overall low level of claims remains surprising relative to the slow pace of overall growth in the economy. We remain mindful that some employees who lost jobs in the early rounds of large company layoff announcements last year will start to lose severance pay and could be looking to collect benefits in the coming months. So while claims remain historically low, we are watching closely for signs of an uptick in the trend.
Initial Jobless Claims FELL -3k in the week ended February 18th to 192k, ABOVE the 4-week average of 191.25k, BELOW the 13-week average of 204.84615k but -6k BELOW the year-ago level. Claims for the 11th of Feb were revised up from +194k to +195k. Non-seasonally adjusted Claims FELL -14.465k Continuing Claims FELL -37k in the week ended February 11th to 1.654M, BELOW the 4-week average of 1.66875M, BELOW the 13-week average of 1.666M but 21k ABOVE the year-ago level.
Continuing Claims for the 4th of Feb were revised down from +1.696M to +1.691M The Insured Jobless Rate FELL -10bps in the week ended February 11thThe insured jobless rate only reflects the number of people collecting regular state unemployment insurance.
Article by Contingent Macro