2017 Economic Calendar
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Jobless Claims  
Released On 2/2/2017 8:30:00 AM For wk1/28, 2017
PriorPrior RevisedConsensusConsensus RangeActual
New Claims - Level259 K260 K253 K250 K to 258 K246 K
4-week Moving Average - Level245.50 K245.75 K248.00 K
New Claims - Change22 K23 K-14 K

Initial claims continue to dig out a new plateau of lows so far this year, down 14,000 in the January 28 week to 246,000. The 4-week average, at 248,000, has held below 250,000 for three straight weeks which is a first for this reading.

Continuing claims have not been moving lower but are still favorable, down 39,000 in lagging data for the January 21 week to 2.064 million. This 4-week average is down 13,000 to 2.080 million with the unemployment rate for insured workers holding at a very low 1.5 percent.

There are no special factors in today's report, one that confirms the general health of the labor market going into tomorrow's employment report.

Consensus Outlook
Initial jobless claims jumped 22,000 to a higher-than-expected 259,000 in the January 21 week and forecasters see an easing back down in the January 28 week, down a consensus 6,000 to 253,000. Claims data have been very low and consistent with strong demand for labor.

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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