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Takeaway: Feb Energy layoffs were 16,339, near the highest levels seen since the start of last year. Outside of Energy, layoffs were steady.

Initial Claims | Energy Still Bad, Ex-Energy Still Meh - Claims1

The US labor market continues to look much as it has for the last several months:

  • Energy layoffs continue at an elevated rate
  • Ex-energy layoffs are flat to trending very slightly higher

Initial Claims | Energy Still Bad, Ex-Energy Still Meh - Claims17

Initial Claims | Energy Still Bad, Ex-Energy Still Meh - Claims12

Initial Claims | Energy Still Bad, Ex-Energy Still Meh - Claims13

Initial Claims | Energy Still Bad, Ex-Energy Still Meh - Claims14

the data

Initial jobless claims rose 6k to 278k from 272k WoW. The prior week's number was not revised. Meanwhile, the 4-week rolling average of seasonally-adjusted claims fell -1.75k WoW to 270.25k.

Meanwhile, the 4-week rolling average of NSA claims, another way of evaluating the data, was -11.2% lower YoY, which is a sequential improvement versus the previous week's YoY change of -6.7%

Initial Claims | Energy Still Bad, Ex-Energy Still Meh - Claims2

Initial Claims | Energy Still Bad, Ex-Energy Still Meh - Claims3

Initial Claims | Energy Still Bad, Ex-Energy Still Meh - Claims4

Initial Claims | Energy Still Bad, Ex-Energy Still Meh - Claims5

Initial Claims | Energy Still Bad, Ex-Energy Still Meh - Claims6

Initial Claims | Energy Still Bad, Ex-Energy Still Meh - Claims7

Initial Claims | Energy Still Bad, Ex-Energy Still Meh - Claims8

Initial Claims | Energy Still Bad, Ex-Energy Still Meh - Claims9

Initial Claims | Energy Still Bad, Ex-Energy Still Meh - Claims10

Initial Claims | Energy Still Bad, Ex-Energy Still Meh - Claims11

Initial Claims | Energy Still Bad, Ex-Energy Still Meh - Claims19

Yield Spreads

The 2-10 spread fell -1 basis points WoW to 99 bps. 1Q16TD, the 2-10 spread is averaging 111 bps, which is lower by -25 bps relative to 4Q15.

Initial Claims | Energy Still Bad, Ex-Energy Still Meh - Claims15

Initial Claims | Energy Still Bad, Ex-Energy Still Meh - Claims16

Joshua Steiner, CFA

Jonathan Casteleyn, CFA, CMT