Jobless claims have been trending higher off of multi-decade lows, indicating a moderating labor market. This week, initial claims would have gone unchanged week over week at 229K if it were not for a modest upward revision to 232K to last week’s number. In other words, claims were little changed this week as they continue to gradually head higher. At these levels, claims remain at the high end of the range from the few years prior to the pandemic.
On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, claims have begun to experience the typical upward swing for this point of the year and that is likely to continue over the next month and change. NSA claims topped 200K this week for the first time since the last week of April which is right in line with the readings from the comparable weeks of the year of 2018 and 2019.
Continuing claims are lagged an additional week to initial claims but this reading has also been making its way off the lows. Granted, the move off the lows for continuing claims has been much more modest than initial claims (only 6K for continuing claims versus 66K for initial). Seasonally adjusted continuing claims rose for the second week in a row this week to 1.312 million which is only the highest level in a month. Click here to learn more about Bespoke’s premium stock market research service.