Market expectations for weekly initial unemployment claims (from Econoday) were 203 K to 216 K (consensus 215,000), and the Department of Labor reported 218,000 new claims. The more important (because of the volatility in the weekly reported claims and seasonality errors in adjusting the data) 4 week moving average moved from 215,250 (reported last week as 215,000) to 214,750. The rolling averages generally have been equal to or under 300,000 since August 2014.
It should be pointed out that Econintersect watches the year-over-year change in the 4-week moving average. There is always some seasonality that migrates into the seasonally adjusted data, and year-over-year comparisons help remove some seasonality. The four-week rolling average of initial claims is +0.6 % (better than the +0.2 % last week) than they were in this same week a year ago.
Claim levels are at 40-year lows (with the normal range around 350,000 weekly initial unemployment claims of levels seen historically during times of economic expansion – see chart below).
From the Department of Labor:
In the week ending October 26, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 218,000, an increase of 5,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised up by 1,000 from 212,000 to 213,000. The 4-week moving average was 214,750, a decrease of 500 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised up by 250 from 215,000 to 215,250.
The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.2 percent for the week ending October 19, unchanged from the previous week’s unrevised rate. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending October 19 was 1,690,000, an increase of 7,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised up 1,000 from 1,682,000 to 1,683,000. The 4-week moving average was 1,686,250, an increase of 8,750 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised up by 250 from 1,677,250 to 1,677,500.