2017 Economic Calendar
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U.S. & Intl Recaps   |   Event Definitions   |   Today's Calendar   |   

Jobless Claims  
Released On 5/11/2017 8:30:00 AM For wk5/6, 2017
PriorConsensusConsensus RangeActual
New Claims - Level238 K244 K241 K to 245 K236 K
4-week Moving Average - Level243.00 K243.50 K
New Claims - Change-19 K-2 K

Initial jobless claims fell 2,000 in the May 6 week to a lower-than-expected 236,000. The 4-week average is up slightly to 243,500 but still down roughly 5,000 to 10,000 from early April and late March.

Confirming the positive signal from initial claims are continuing claims which, in data that lag by a week, are down a very sizable 61,000 in the April 29 week to 1.918 million. This is a 29-year low for this reading. The 4-week average is down 27,000 to 1.966 million which is a 43-year low. The unemployment rate for insured workers is steady at a very low 1.4 percent (excludes job leavers and reentrants).

The labor market has been the economy's leading strength this year and today's report points to more of the same ahead as employers stick with their employees. There are no special factors in today's report.

Consensus Outlook
Jobless claims have been very low and pointing to unusually strong demand for labor. Forecasters sees initial claims coming in at 244,000 in the May 6 week vs 238,000 in the prior week.

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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