2018 Economic Calendar
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Jobless Claims  
Released On 4/5/2018 8:30:00 AM For wk3/31, 2018
PriorPrior RevisedConsensusConsensus RangeActual
New Claims - Level215 K218 K230 K222 K to 230 K242 K
4-week Moving Average - Level224.50 K225.25 K228.25 K
New Claims - Change-12 K-9 K24 K

After holding steady near record lows since the middle of January, initial jobless claims popped 24,000 higher to 242,000 and well beyond Econoday's high estimate. There are no special factors behind the jump but given that the reporting period, the week of March 31, falls outside the sample period of the monthly employment report, today's results are not likely to pull down expectations for strength in tomorrow's report.

In an offset, continuing claims fell a very sizable 64,000 to 1.808 million in the March 24 week which, however, also falls outside the sample period for the monthly employment report. The unemployment rate for insured workers is unchanged for a fifth straight week at a very low 1.3 percent.

Despite the headline rise for initial claims, unemployment claims remain solidly consistent with strong demand for labor.

Consensus Outlook
Initial claims are expected to come in at 230,000 in the March 31 week vs a 45-year low of 215,000 in the prior week. 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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