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Seasonal Shifts For Jobless Claims

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.

Initial Jobless Claims

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.

NSA Jobless Claims

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.

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

Claims Come Off the Lows

Initial jobless claims have come off of multi-decade lows in the past few weeks with the most recent print released this morning marking the most significant increase in some time.  Claims are back up to 200K for the first time since the week of February 11th. Additionally, the 19K week over week increase was the largest one-week uptick since last July when they rose 33K and the level of claims was more than double what it is now.

Initial Jobless Claims

Non-seasonally adjusted claims are also still at historically strong levels albeit having come off the lows.  The only comparable week of the year that has seen a lower reading on claims was in 2018 when they were roughly 7K below current levels.

In terms of seasonal trends, claims will likely continue to fall modestly in the coming weeks before running into some seasonal headwinds in the late spring and early summer.

Initial Jobless Claims NSA

Continuing claims are delayed an additional week to initial jobless claims and this reading set a new low in the most recent print.  Claims fell below 1.4 million for the first time since February 1970 reiterating the point that there are a historically small number of people filing continued unemployment claims. Click here to learn more about Bespoke’s premium stock market research service.

Continuing Jobless Claims

Claims Still Strong

Seasonally adjusted initial jobless claims remain off of the low from one month ago, but this week did see a sequential improvement.  Claims dropped by 2K to 184K from last week’s slightly upwardly revised level of 186K.  That is the ninth week in a row with sub-200K prints as claims sit at some of the lowest levels on record.

initial jobless claims

Before seasonal adjustment, claims were also impressive falling from 224.1K to 196.9K as the brief seasonal uptick at this point of the year unwinds.  As shown in the second chart below, the current week of the year has only seen claims rise week over week 12% of the time historically.  Claims will likely continue to see seasonal tailwinds through the next several weeks before a seasonal increase in the late spring and summer.

initial jobless claims

Lagged one week to initial claims, continuing claims came in below expectations of 1.459 million, reaching a new low of 1.417 million. That sets the lowest level since February 1970.  Click here to view Bespoke’s premium membership options.

continuing jobless claims