Thursday, February 8, 2024

Initial jobless claims confirmatory of continued expansion


 - by New Deal democrat

Initial claims continue at their very low level, declining -9,000 to 218,000 last week.  The four week moving average rose 3,750 to 212,250. With the usual one week lag, continuing claims declined -23,000 to 1.871 million:

For forecasting purposes the YoY% change is more important. YoY weekly claims are down -0.9%, the 4 week moving average up 4.4%, and continuing claims up 10.8%:

Both weekly and the four week average of claims are well within the range of forecasting continued expansion. While continuing claims are elevated, and in the past few months sparked some speculation that they signified recession, and taken by themselves, they would, initial claims always precede them. Instead, continuing claims - as usual - have followed initial claims, and are nar their lowest YoY gains in the past year.

The last full month of initial claims, for January, continues to suggest that if anything, the unemployment rate will decline in coming months:

The first week of February data is confirmatory. The Sahm rule is not going to be triggered in the near future.