Jobless Claims Snoozer

Jobless claims continue to be a snoozer. Headed into tomorrow’s nonfarm payrolls report, initial jobless claims were little changed falling 1K down to 217K. Over the past month, claims have been in a relatively tight range of only 12K. That is the tightest one-month range since late June/early July, albeit claims are at slightly healthier levels than back then as well.

On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, claims are at 185.6K, which is the lowest level since 1969 for the comparable week of the year. Claims have been on the move higher as is the norm for the point of the year. In fact, the current week of the year has been one of the most frequent to see week-over-week increases in unadjusted jobless claims with increases 83% of the time since 1967.

While initial jobless claims have not seen particularly large moves recently, the picture for continuing claims has begun to shift. Although continuing claims are much further below their pre-pandemic range than initial claims, the most recent week saw a move up to 1.485 million which is the highest level since the end of March. As a result, the ratio of initial to continuing claims has moved sharply lower and is closing in on its historical average. That compares to earlier this year when initial claims were running at much weaker levels than continuing claims implying little follow-through on initial claims. 


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