Weekly jobless claims are still feeling the impact of the late summer HIM-icanes (Harvey, Irma, and Maria), but the worst of the impact is over, and it wasn’t nearly as bad as we saw back in 2005 with Katrina and 2012 with Sandy. According to the Department of Labor, first-time claims dropped from 272K down to 260K, which was below the consensus forecast of 265K. This now makes it 135 straight weeks that jobless claims have been below 300K. While claims never did spike as much as they did with prior big hurricanes, the return back to trend seems to be taking a bit longer as well, but that could be the impact of three hurricanes hitting different parts of the country as opposed to the prior single storms hitting one region.
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On a four-week moving average basis, claims dropped from 277.75K down to 268.25K. That decline of 9.5K was the largest single-week decline in the four-week average since March 2015.
On a non-seasonally adjusted (NSA) basis, jobless claims dropped to 206.7K from 215K. That’s more than 85K below the average for the current week of the year dating back to 2000, but actually above the level we saw in the same week last year. Here again, though, the weather definitely played a role.