Thursday, January 31, 2019

Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims increased to 253,000

by Bill McBride on 1/31/2019 08:34:00 AM

The DOL reported:

In the week ending January 26, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 253,000, an increase of 53,000 from the previous week's revised level. This is the highest level for initial claims since September 30, 2017 when it was 254,000. The previous week's level was revised up by 1,000 from 199,000 to 200,000. The 4-week moving average was 220,250, an increase of 5,000 from the previous week's revised average. The previous week's average was revised up by 250 from 215,000 to 215,250.
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 increased to 220,250.

This was much higher than the consensus forecast - and is probably related to the government shutdown.