INITIAL CLAIMS | BACK TO Y2K, UNLESS YOU LIVE IN AN ENERGY STATE

Takeaway: The last time jobless claims were this low it was the year 2000. $45 oil, however, continues to take its toll on energy states.



Below is the detailed breakdown of this morning's initial claims data from Joshua Steiner and the Hedgeye Financials team. If you would like to setup a call with Josh or Jonathan or trial their research, please contact 

 

Claims Match Y2K Lows, While Energy State Labor Weakness Persists 

Total initial claims showed an impressive decline in the latest week, falling -80k Y/Y to 265k (SA) and putting in their lowest reading since 2000.  NSA claims, meanwhile, were lower by -22% Y/Y on a single week basis. There don't appear to be any special factors in the report.  

 

It's worth noting that while Y2K started out decently from an equity market performance standpoint, the S&P 500 was down 10% by the end of that year and went on to lose another 13% in 2001 and 23% in 2002.

 

For the last several weeks we've been calling out the performance of the eight energy states (AK, LA, NM, ND, OK, TX, WV, WY) to gauge whether labor conditions there are diverging from the country as a whole. In the latest week it appears the spread between the country and the basket of energy states remained steady at around 15 points. For reference, we've indexed the two series back to May of last year and we're interested in the spread between the two indices. The two charts below illustrate this dynamic.

 

INITIAL CLAIMS | BACK TO Y2K, UNLESS YOU LIVE IN AN ENERGY STATE - Claims18

 

INITIAL CLAIMS | BACK TO Y2K, UNLESS YOU LIVE IN AN ENERGY STATE - Claims20

 

The Data

Prior to revision, initial jobless claims fell -42k to 265k from 307k WoW, as the prior week's number was revised up by 1k to 308k.

 

The headline (unrevised) number shows claims were lower by -43k WoW.

Meanwhile, the 4-week rolling average of seasonally-adjusted claims fell -8.25k WoW to 298.5k.

 

The 4-week rolling average of NSA claims, another way of evaluating the data, was -9.2% lower YoY, which is a sequential improvement versus the previous week's YoY change of -8.0%

 

INITIAL CLAIMS | BACK TO Y2K, UNLESS YOU LIVE IN AN ENERGY STATE - Claims2 without trend line

 

INITIAL CLAIMS | BACK TO Y2K, UNLESS YOU LIVE IN AN ENERGY STATE - Claims3

 

 

Joshua Steiner, CFA

 

Jonathan Casteleyn, CFA, CMT



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