After coming in at one of the lowest levels on record last week, seasonally adjusted initial jobless claims bounced up to 185K this week. While higher, jobless claims are still historically strong having spent a record eight straight weeks with sub-200K readings.
As we noted last week, seasonal adjustments overstated the strength of claims as unadjusted claims experienced a seasonally unusual decline. This week was more normal from a seasonal perspective with initial claims rising from 194.4K to 222.5K and the first reading above 200K since the week of March 11. As shown in the second chart below, the current week of the year has consistently seen claims move higher week over week marking a temporary high before resuming the seasonal downtrend through the next couple of months. That means the slight uptick this month is likely mostly seasonal and far from any sort of a change in trend.
Lagged one week to initial claims, continuing jobless claims fell to a new low of 1.475 million. That is the lowest level of claims since March 1970. Click here to view Bespoke’s premium membership options.