Weekly Unemployment Claims: Down 39K, Beats Forecast

Here is the opening statement from the Department of Labor:

SEASONALLY ADJUSTED DATA

In the week ending April 17, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 547,000, a decrease of 39,000 from the previous week's revised level. This is the lowest level for initial claims since March 14, 2020 when it was 256,000. The previous week's level was revised up by 10,000 from 576,000 to 586,000. The 4-week moving average was 651,000, a decrease of 27,750 from the previous week's revised average. This is the lowest level for this average since March 14, 2020 when it was 225,500. The previous week's average was revised down by 4,250 from 683,000 to 678,750.

The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.6 percent for the week ending April 10, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point from the previous week's unrevised rate. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending April 10 was 3,674,000, a decrease of 34,000 from the previous week's revised level. This is the lowest level for insured unemployment since March 21, 2020 when it was 3,094,000. The previous week's level was revised down by 23,000 from 3,731,000 to 3,708,000. The 4-week moving average was 3,713,000, a decrease of 41,750 from the previous week's revised average. This is the lowest level for this average since March 28, 2020 when it was 3,611,750. The previous week's average was revised down by 8,250 from 3,763,000 to 3,754,750. [See full report]

This morning's seasonally adjusted 547K new claims, down 39K from the previous week's upwardly revised figure, was better than the Investing.com forecast of 617K.

Here is a close look at the data over the decade (with a callout for the past year), which gives a clearer sense of the overall trend.

Unemployment Claims since 2007

As we can see, there's a good bit of volatility in this indicator, which is why the 4-week moving average (the highlighted number) is a more useful number than the weekly data. Here is the complete data series.

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