2018 Economic Calendar
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Jobless Claims  
Released On 3/22/2018 8:30:00 AM For wk3/17, 2018
PriorConsensusConsensus RangeActual
New Claims - Level226 K225 K220 K to 230 K229 K
4-week Moving Average - Level221.50 K223.75 K
New Claims - Change-4 K3 K

The monthly employment report looks to be strong again based on initial jobless claims which, in the sample week for the monthly report, remain low and favorable. Initial claims in the March 17 week inched 3,000 higher to 229,000 with the 4-week average up slightly to 223,750. A comparison with the sample week of the February employment report shows no significant change. Continuing claims, in lagging data for the March 10 week, fell 57,000 to 1.828 million and a new multi-decade low. Employers are holding onto their employees like never before which is an indication that labor demand is unusually strong.

Consensus Outlook
Versus 226,000 in the prior week, initial claims are expected to come in at 225,000 in the March 17 week which is the sample week of the monthly employment report. Claims have been low and consistent with minimal layoffs and 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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