Initial jobless claims took a step higher this week rising by 7K to 198K.  With last week’s number also going unrevised, claims have now been below 200K for 10 of the last 11 weeks. That being said, this week’s reading was the highest since the 212K print in the first week of March.

Before seasonal adjustment, claims were once again higher rising by over 10K week over week to 223K.  Although that is not a concerningly high reading nor is it a large jump, the increase was peculiar in that it went against expected seasonal patterns.  Prior to this year, jobless claims have only risen week over week in the current week of the year 16% of the time; the most recent instance prior to 2020 (right as claims surged at the onset of the pandemic) was in 2017.

Although initial jobless claims modestly deteriorated, it has not exactly been a worrying increase as claims remain at historically healthy levels. The same goes for continuing claims.  This week saw continuing claims rise by a modest 4K to 1.689 million.  That is only the highest level since the end of February when claims totaled over 1.7 million.

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