Thursday, May 21, 2015

Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims increased to 274,000, Lowest 4-Week average in 15 years

by Bill McBride on 5/21/2015 08:35:00 AM

The DOL reported:

In the week ending May 16, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 274,000, an increase of 10,000 from the previous week's unrevised level of 264,000. The 4-week moving average was 266,250, a decrease of 5,500 from the previous week's unrevised average of 271,750. This is the lowest level for this average since April 15, 2000 when it was 266,250.

There were no special factors impacting this week's initial claims.
The previous week was unrevised.

The following graph shows the 4-week moving average of weekly claims since 1971.

Click on graph for larger image.


The dashed line on the graph is the current 4-week average. The four-week average of weekly unemployment claims decreased to 266,250.

This was above the consensus forecast of 270,000, and the low level of the 4-week average suggests few layoffs. This is the lowest 4-week average in 15 years (since April 2000).

Note: If the 4-week average falls to 266,000, it will be the lowest in 40 years!