Seasonally adjusted initial jobless claims came in at 231K which was ever so slightly above expectations of 230K. Meanwhile, last week’s number brought up the low end of the recent range after a 4K upward revision to 233K. That means the most recent read actually showed an improvement versus the previous week whereas before it would have been a modest deterioration in the number. Regardless, claims remain well off of the multi-decade lows from earlier in the spring, but even at current levels, the only historical periods with parallels for as strong of a level were just before the pandemic and the late 1960s to early 1970s.
We would also note that even though claims are up versus the early spring, the reading has seen very little movement in the past month. Quantifying this, the four-week rolling standard deviation in claims has fallen below 1 for only the seventh time on record going back to 1967. The past six times this happened were: April 1988, March 1990, September 2006, August 2016, and June 2019. That is not to say that claims are either improving or deteriorating in any sort of significant way, but rather claims have been remarkably stable in recent weeks.
On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, claims have likewise been little changed over the past few weeks having gone from 206.1K two weeks ago, to 206.4K last week to 207.4K this week. Without much movement, this week’s reading on claims continues to show a stronger reading than comparable weeks pre-pandemic even if they have come off of recent lows from earlier this year.
When taking seasonality into account, as shown in the second chart below, that lack of movement in the claims number is not exactly unwarranted for the current period of the year, but it is likely to change as the next few weeks have consistently seen claims experience a brief and sizable uptick.
Turning over to continuing claims, the rise off of pandemic and multi-decade lows has been much less severe. In the most recent week’s data through June 17th, continuing claims fell from 1.331 million to 1.328 million. Click here to learn more about Bespoke’s premium stock market research service.
Jobless claims have been trending higher off of multi-decade lows, indicating a moderating labor market. This week, initial claims would have gone unchanged week over week at 229K if it were not for a modest upward revision to 231K to last week’s number. Claims did not change much on a week-over-week basis and remain modestly above the levels that were in place in the months before the pandemic. While it has been more than three months since initial jobless claims made a post-pandemic low, the rate of increase of those lows has been somewhat modest. Click here to learn more about Bespoke’s premium stock market research service.
On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, claims moved moderately lower after topping 200K for the first time since late April last week, and at a level of 203K, this week’s figure is the lowest in the last twenty years relative to comparable weeks.
Continuing claims lag by one week relative to initial claims and moved higher for the third consecutive week, representing the longest streak of weekly increases since March 2020. However, the magnitude of the rise was quite small. In fact, at the current level of 1.315 million continuing claims are still 2.1% below the level they were at a month ago. Click here to learn more about Bespoke’s premium stock market research service.
It was a mixed morning for labor market data. What could be a bad omen for tomorrow’s Nonfarm Payrolls number, ADP’s monthly payroll report showed the weakest month of job creation since the start of the pandemic. On the bright side, this week’s initial jobless claims number continued to reverse off of recent highs dropping back down to 200K. While the levels from February through April were even stronger, this week’s reading remains impressive nonetheless with the only comparable levels being during the two years leading up to the pandemic as well as all the way back in the late 1960s.
From a seasonal perspective, tailwinds are likely to become headwinds over the next couple of months. As shown in the second chart below, the current week of the year has historically been when unadjusted jobless claims have put in a seasonal low. That is typically followed by several weeks of consistent weekly increases that lead to a short-term peak usually in mid-July. In other words, it should not be surprising to see claims move higher in the weeks ahead, but regardless of any seasonal moves, this week did mark the lowest reading for the comparable week of the year since 1973. That reaffirms the seasonally adjusted reading in that claims are at impressively low levels.
Although initial claims have come off the lows and are likely to keep doing so as seasonal trends shift, continuing claims keep hitting new lows. This week’s reading fell all the way down to 1.309 million from 1.343 million last week. That is now the lowest level since the last week of 1969. Click here to learn more about Bespoke’s premium stock market research service.
Initial jobless claims came in weaker than expected this week rising to 203K instead of the expected decline to 193K. Additionally, last week’s print was revised up to 202K. While that brings claims back above the 200K level for the first time since February, the current level remains historically impressive.
On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, claims still have seasonal tailwinds at their back, though, the winds will shift in the next few weeks. On an unadjusted basis, claims are still below 200K, dropping another 6.6K w/w to 191.8K. Behind the 182.3K reading from late March, that is the strongest reading on initial claims since 2019 and is in line with the readings for the comparable week of the year in the few years prior to the pandemic.
Unlike initial claims, continuing claims have continued to head lower unabated. Claims fell to 1.343 million in the most recent week marking the fifth consecutive weekly decline. Claims have not been at such a low level since late 1969/the first weeks of 1970. Click here to learn more about Bespoke’s premium stock market research service.