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Jobless Claims: Surprise Jump

March 9, 2023
Bottom Line:  Jobless claims rose sharply last week after hitting five-week lows in late February. Increasing to 211k on a seasonally adjusted basis, the jump was even larger without the seasonal adjustments. Claims in California and New York drove the increase, but most states were higher, and there were few anomalies in this report. Still, claims are prone to volatility, and this report is insufficient to call a turn in the trend, which has been stubbornly low amid a tight labor market. Nonetheless, this report brings claims back into focus, as any further increases in March could mark a major pivot in the tight labor market.
Initial Jobless Claims ROSE 21k in the week ended March 4th to 211k, ABOVE the 4-week average of 197k, ABOVE the 13-week average of 200.53846k, and 13k ABOVE the year-ago level. Non-seasonally adjusted Claims ROSE 35.357k.
Continuing Claims ROSE 69k in the week ended February 25th to 1.718M, ABOVE the 4-week average of 1.6795M, ABOVE the 13-week average of 1.673231M, and 54k ABOVE the year-ago level. Continuing Claims for the 18th of Feb were revised down from +1.655M to +1.649M.
Article by Contingent Macro