– by a New Deal Democrat
It took some time for FRED to publish this data today, but for this reason of delay. . .
Initial jobless claims picked up in 2023 where they left off in 2022, with another good print. Initial claims were down -1,000 to 205,000, while the more important 4-week average was down -1,750 to 212,500. Continuing claims were also down, down -63,000 to 1.634 million:
Let me just add a little caveat that we are in the time when the holiday season adds the most distortion even to seasonally adjusted data.
For recession monitoring purposes, we want to know if claims are higher year-over-year, the first sign of weakness. And the answer is that they are not:
Initial jobless claims are currently the last of the positive or at least neutrally significant short-term leading indicators. And so they remain.