Thursday, January 26, 2017

Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims increase to 259,000

by Bill McBride on 1/26/2017 08:37:00 AM

The DOL reported:

In the week ending January 21, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 259,000, an increase of 22,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised up by 3,000 from 234,000 to 237,000. The 4-week moving average was 245,500, a decrease of 2,000 from the previous week's revised average. This is the lowest level for this average since November 3, 1973 when it was 244,000. The previous week's average was revised up by 750 from 246,750 to 247,500.
emphasis added
The previous week was revised up.

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 245,500.

This was above the consensus forecast.  This is the lowest level for the four week average since 1973 (with a much larger population today).

The low level of claims suggests relatively few layoffs.