U.S. jobless claims fall to 3-month low, still over 600,000


Jobless claims in the U.S. fell to a three month low of 610,000 on a seasonally-adjusted basis in another clear sign that fewer people are filing for jobless claims than early in the year.  Nevertheless, 600,000 more filed for claims this past week and a record 6 million are still claiming benefits.

I have been fairly clear recently that I see the decrease in jobless claims data and comparisons to last year as signs of an incipient (but weak) recovery.  The so-called second derivative changes i.e. a decrease in comparisons to year-ago data are the ones I believe most important in looking at directionality. However one should note that analysts like David Rosenberg do not believe these signs portend a recovery. Time will tell who is right here.

Related Posts
1 of 1,545

As for those second-derivatives, the data is getting better for initial claims and worse for continuing claims. Non seasonally-adjusted (NSA) comparisons to a year ago are as follows:

  • 4-week average initial claims are 257,000 higher, down from a peak of 327,000 on Jan 24th. Seasonally-adjusted comparisons are now worse at 280,000 meaning that seasonal catch up here is over.
  • 4-week average continuing claims are 3.2 million more than last year.  That is massive and still increasing.  Moreover, this number is 400,000 in excess of the seasonally-adjusted data.  I should also note that many people who no longer qualify for benefits are still unemployed meaning the unemployment rate is still rising quite rapidly.
Subscribe to our newsletter


Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report – U.S. Department of Labor

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!