Jobless claims have continued to weaken with this week’s release, rising by 5K to 245K versus expectations of no change from last week’s upwardly revised 240K print.  At current levels, claims sit at the high end of the range since the start of 2022 and only a couple thousand below last month’s high.

Prior to seasonal adjustment, claims have essentially come in right inline with the reading for the same week last year and the few years prior to the pandemic.  As shown in the second chart below, claims tend to experience a little bit of a bounce around this point of the year before resuming a move lower through the late spring.

Continuing claims were equally disappointing this week rising to 1.865 million, 40K above expectations.  Although the increase to initial claims has not resulted in a new high, the 61K increase for continuing claims leaves the indicator at the highest level since late November 2021.

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