Thursday, February 08, 2018

Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims decrease to 221,000

by Bill McBride on 2/08/2018 08:34:00 AM

The DOL reported:

In the week ending February 3, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 221,000, a decrease of 9,000 from the previous week's unrevised level of 230,000. The 4-week moving average was 224,500, a decrease of 10,000 from the previous week's unrevised average of 234,500. This is the lowest level for this average since March 10, 1973 when it was 222,000.

Claims taking procedures in Puerto Rico and in the Virgin Islands have still not returned to normal.
emphasis added
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 224,500. This is the lowest level for the 4-average since 1973.

This was lower than the consensus forecast. The low level of claims suggest relatively few layoffs.