Thursday, December 31, 2015

Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims increase to 287,000

by Bill McBride on 12/31/2015 08:36:00 AM

The DOL reported:

In the week ending December 26, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 287,000, an increase of 20,000 from the previous week's unrevised level of 267,000. The 4-week moving average was 277,000, an increase of 4,500 from the previous week's unrevised average of 272,500.

There were no special factors impacting this week's initial claims.
The previous week was unrevised at 267,000.

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 increased to 277,000.

This was above the consensus forecast of 270,000, and the low level of the 4-week average suggests few layoffs.

Average weekly unemployment claims in 2015 were the lowest in over 40 years (when the workforce was much smaller).