INITIAL CLAIMS | RISING BUT STILL STRONG

Takeaway: Rolling SA claims rose for the first time in 5 weeks. However, at 272k they remain in healthy territory.

Below is the 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 

OFF THE LOWS:  After hitting a 15-year low of 262k in the week ending April 25th, the weekly SA claims figures have seen some upward movement in the last few weeks, coming in at 282k in the most recent period. Given that upward movement, the 4-week rolling SA figure posted its first increase in 5 weeks this week, rising from 267k to 272k WoW. Nevertheless, this week's print, still well below the 300k Rubicon, continues to represent strength in the labor market.

In the chart below, indexed claims in energy heavy states rose more than the country as a whole in the week ending May 16th. The spread between the two series increased from 21 to 23.

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The Data

Prior to revision, initial jobless claims rose 8k to 282k from 274k WoW, as the prior week's number was revised up by 1k to 275k.

The headline (unrevised) number shows claims were higher by 7k WoW. Meanwhile, the 4-week rolling average of seasonally-adjusted claims rose 5k WoW to 271.5k.

The 4-week rolling average of NSA claims, another way of evaluating the data, was -13.2% lower YoY, which is a sequential deterioration versus the previous week's YoY change of -16.4%

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Joshua Steiner, CFA

Jonathan Casteleyn, CFA, CMT