Initial claims continue to warrant a yellow flag for attention

– by a New Deal Democrat

Initial jobless claims last week rose 11,000 to 239,000. The more important 4-week average rose 2,250 to 240,000. Continuing claims, one week late, fell 13,000 to 1,823,000:

At this point, year-over-year change is more important, as increases of more than 10%, especially in the 4-week or monthly average, are a yellow warning signal for a recession, and an increase of more than 12.5% ‚Äč‚Äčthat continues at least 2 months is a red flag warning of a recession.

And on a year-over-year basis, while the one-week number is only up 7.7%, for the month of March (blue) they are up 11.0%. For the first 2 weeks of April (not shown), they are up 8.3% year-to-date. The 4-week average is up 11.1%. Continuing claims backlog grew 13.8%%:

Due to the 4-week average and the monthly increase year-on-year for March, the yellow flag for attention remains warranted. It would take further increases to the 240 that continued in May for the data to justify a red flag recession warning.

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