Claims Consistent

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.

Initial Jobless Claims

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.

Jobless Claims

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.

Non seasonally adjusted jobless claims

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.

Continuing Jobless Claims

Continuing Claims Reach More Multi-Decade Lows

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.

Initial Jobless Claims

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.

Initial Jobless Claims May 2022

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.

Continuing Jobless Claims