Last week’s initial jobless claims number was pretty unexciting, especially compared to the ADP and NFP numbers which saw massive misses. While certainly not to the same degree as last week’s data, this week’s claims also came in weaker rising to 222K compared to last week’s upwardly revised 219K.  This also missed forecasts which called for a small drop to 215K.  While it was an increase and a miss relative to estimates, on a seasonally adjusted basis, claims are still at healthy levels in the middle of the range from the past several months. In other words, given this week’s data, claims are neither improving nor worsening in any significant way. Claims have now spent a record 223 weeks under 300K and 74 weeks under 250K, closing in on the record streak of 89 weeks.

The less volatile four-week moving average also saw a slight increase this week to 217.75K from 215.25K last week.  Like the seasonally adjusted number, the four-week moving average has not seen any large movements over the past month and is in between recent highs and lows.

Non-seasonally adjusted initial jobless claims rose to 219.9K.  That is a sizeable increase from last week’s 189.6K, but this increase was not anything unusual for the current week of the year.  From this time of the year through the next several weeks, NSA data typically sees a steady increase due to seasonal patterns as schools get out for summer. While the week-over-week increase could be expected, the NSA number also rose year-over-year.  The increasing frequency of these YoY increases in 2019 is something that we have made note of in the past as a possible concern and could be pointing to a potential bottoming out in claims. Start a two-week free trial to Bespoke Institutional to access our interactive economic indicators monitor and much more.

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