Thursday, December 15, 2022

Jobless claims: still weakly positive


- by New Deal democrat

My focus on jobless claims has shifted to when and whether they will turn negative, flashing a short leading warning for recession. A reminder that my criteria are a 10% increase from their low point (already in place) and an increase YoY for a yellow flag, and a 15% increase from their low point (also in place) and a 10% increase YoY for a red flag.

Initial jobless claims declined -20,000 to 211,000 last week. The 4 week average declined -3,000 to 227,250. Finally, continued claims, which lag by one week, rose 1,000 to 1.671 million:

All three still remain lower YoY, although the comparisons are getting much less positive:

Also the data is much more subject to seasonal distortions from Thanksgiving through early January, so extra caution is warranted.

Bottom line: for now, jobless claims remain a positive.