Jobless claims: still weakly positive

– by a New Deal Democrat

My focus on jobless claims has shifted to when and if they will turn negative, flashing a brief lead warning of a recession. Reminder that my criteria are 10% up from their low point (already there) and y/y increase for yellow flag and 15% up from their low point (also there) and 10% y/y increase for red flag.

Initial jobless claims fell by -20,000 to 211,000 last week. The 4-week average decreased by -3,000 to 227,250. Finally, ongoing claims, which are one week behind, rose by 1,000 to 1.671 million:

All three still remain lower year-over-year, although the comparisons are becoming much less positive:

Also, the data is much more susceptible to seasonal skew from Thanksgiving to early January, so extra care is needed.

Bottom line: for now, jobless claims remain positive.

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