2017 Economic Calendar
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Jobless Claims  
Released On 8/17/2017 8:30:00 AM For wk8/12, 2017
PriorConsensusConsensus RangeActual
New Claims - Level244 K240 K238 K to 245 K232 K
4-week Moving Average - Level241.00 K240.50 K
New Claims - Change3 K-12 K

Seasonal layoffs from auto retooling have yet to skew jobless claims data this summer which remain comfortably at historic lows. Initial claims fell 12,000 to 232,000 in the August 12 week which was also the sample week of the coming August employment report. A look back at the July sample week is slightly favorable, at 234,000. A comparison of the 4-week averages now and then is also favorable, currently at 240,500 which is 3,500 below a month ago.

The continuing claims side of the report, where data lag by a week, shows a 3,000 decline in the August 5 week to 1.953 million. This 4-week average, down slightly to 1.960 million, has also been steady. The unemployment rate for insured workers is unchanged at a very low 1.4 percent.

There are no special factors in today's report and no states were estimated. The decline in initial claims, especially given the sample-week importance, is certain to build expectations for another solid monthly employment report.

Consensus Outlook
The summer's auto retooling season has yet to be a factor in weekly jobless claims which, apparently benefiting from good seasonal adjustments, have held very steady at very low levels. Forecasters sees initial claims coming in at 240,000 in the August 12 week vs 244,000 in the August 5 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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