The Lowest Running Monthly Jobless Claims Level in 5 Years
In the most recent initial jobless claims series released this morning from the U.S. Department of Labor, weekly jobless claims thus far for the month of August is running at the lowest monthly level since November 2007. With employers holding on to more workers to meet an improving economy, this U.S. labor series may continue to improve as the effects of Federal budget cuts and higher payroll taxes burn off in the second half of 2013. In addition, the incremental impact of Obamacare is likely driving a portion of the underlying improvement, with nearly 75% of the 1 million jobs created this year being attributed to small and medium sized businesses hiring part time workers.
Prior to revision, initial jobless claims rose 16k to 336k from 320k WoW, as the prior week's number was revised up by 3k to 323k.
The headline (unrevised) number shows claims were higher by 13k WoW. Meanwhile, the 4-week rolling average of seasonally-adjusted claims fell -2.25k WoW to 330.5k.
The 4-week rolling average of NSA claims, which we consider a more accurate representation of the underlying labor market trend, was -10.3% lower YoY, which is a sequential improvement versus the previous week's YoY change of -7.8%
Joshua Steiner, CFA
Jonathan Casteleyn, CFA, CMT