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Takeaway: Growth in the number of people filing initial unemployment claims isn't the growth you're looking for.

Editor's Note: Below is an excerpt from an institutional research note written by Financials analysts Josh Steiner. To access our institutional research email sales@hedgeye.com.

See Jobless Claims? The Countdown To Recession Begins - The Cycle cartoon 03.04.2016

WE HAVE GROWTH (Depending on how you look at it)

The latest NSA initial claims data grew on a Y/Y basis for the first time in a long time. While the increase was small at +2%, it's the first time since 2012 this has happened. Prior to 2012, you'd have to go back to 2007 to find the last time claims were rising. Initial claims are still at a low level in absolute terms, but rate of change matters. We wrote about this dynamic in detail back in February 2015 ("Initial Claims: Cognitive Dissonance & Mice"). 

Alternatively, in the last three cycles, claims have stayed below 330k for 24, 45, and 31 months before recession set in (33 months, on average). The current sub-330k run is now in its 27th month. That puts us 3 months past the minimum, 6 months from the 33-month average, and 18 months shy of the 1990s record-setting expansion. 

Click to enlarge

See Jobless Claims? The Countdown To Recession Begins - initial claims 5 19