Thursday, May 12, 2016

Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims increase to 294,000

by Bill McBride on 5/12/2016 08:34:00 AM

The DOL reported:

In the week ending May 7, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 294,000, an increase of 20,000 from the previous week's unrevised level of 274,000. This is the highest level for initial claims since February 28, 2015 when it was 310,000. The 4-week moving average was 268,250, an increase of 10,250 from the previous week's unrevised average of 258,000.

There were no special factors impacting this week's initial claims. This marks 62 consecutive weeks of initial claims below 300,000, the longest streak since 1973.
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 increased to 268,250.

This was above the consensus forecast and is the highest level for weekly claims since February 2015. The low level of claims suggests relatively few layoffs.