2017 Economic Calendar
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Jobless Claims  
Released On 1/19/2017 8:30:00 AM For wk1/14, 2017
PriorPrior RevisedConsensusConsensus RangeActual
New Claims - Level247 K249 K255 K252 K to 260 K234 K
4-week Moving Average - Level256.50 K257.00 K246.75 K
New Claims - Change10 K12 K-15 K

In a solid signal of strength for the January employment report, initial jobless claims fell a very sharp 15,000 to a much lower-than-expected level of 234,000. The period covers the January 14 week which is also the sample week of the January employment report. A comparison of initial claims in the employment sample week for January with the sample week for December shows unusual improvement, down 41,000 from 275,000 in the December 17 week with the 4-week average down 17,000. There are no special factors in today's report, one that will raise talk of strength in the labor market.

Consensus Outlook
Week-to-week initial claims have been volatile during the holidays but still low and favorable. The January 14 week is the sample week for both the monthly payroll and household data and the results will offer an important gauge of what to expect for the January employment report. Forecasters see initial claims rising but only slightly to 255,000 from 247,000. If there's no change in the week, the 4-week average will fall a sizable and very favorable 7,000.

New unemployment claims are compiled weekly to show the number of individuals who filed for unemployment insurance for the first time. An increasing (decreasing) trend suggests a deteriorating (improving) labor market. The four-week moving average of new claims smooths out weekly volatility.  Why Investors Care
Weekly series fluctuate more dramatically than monthly series even when the series are adjusted for seasonal variation. The 4-week moving average gives a better perspective on the underlying trend.
Data Source: Haver Analytics

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