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A Close Look at the Jobless Claims Numbers

Takeaway: Here’s our take on this morning’s jobless claims report.

Seasonally-adjusted initial jobless claims rose +17K W/W to +283K with the 4-week rolling average improving to +281K – the lowest level since 5/5/2000. 

Non-seasonally adjusted claims, which we consider a more accurate representation of the underlying labor market trend, were better by -18% year-over-year (vs. -24% prior and -23% 2-wks prior) with the 4-wk rolling average improving to -18.4%. – the best rate of improvement since the immediate post-recession period in 2010. 

It’s worth noting that the recent improvement has come against increasingly easy comparisons in 2013 (see black line in chart below) and is likely to moderate from here. 

Summarily, while the domestic labor market data has remained somewhat of an insular island of strength in the global macro landscape in recent months, it continues to fire on 1.5 (of 2) cylinders as the separations side of the net hiring equation plumbs new lows while gross hirings remains more moderate.  

Sustained monthly payroll gains of ~250K with peak year-over-year growth in NFP employment of 2-2.5% have marked the top end of the range in recent market/economic cycles.   We remain proximate to both levels currently.  #PeaksAreProcesses

A Close Look at the Jobless Claims Numbers - Claims SA 102314