Thursday, May 18, 2023

Jobless claims: yellow caution flag persists


 - by New Deal democrat

In response to last week’s big jump in new jobless claims to 264,000, I wrote that it might be an outlier vs. the beginning of a rising trend. This morning claims fell back to their previous average range, at 242,000. The 4 week average declined -1,000 to 244,250, while continuing claims from the previous week declined -8,000 to 1.799 million:

I’ve been paying particular attention the YoY% change, since that is what triggers a recession warning from this metric: specifically 2 months in a row of claims higher YoY than 12.5%.

With this morning’s update, the weekly number is 9.0% higher YoY, and continuing claims are higher by 25.5%. The most important 4 week average is higher by 14.0%:

The 4 week average has hit the %age marker, but hasn’t remained above it long enough to generate the red flag. In the past (not shown), as often as not readings of this sort, that have not persisted, have been false positives. So for now, the yellow flag caution persists.