2018 Economic Calendar
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Jobless Claims  
Released On 4/26/2018 8:30:00 AM For wk4/21, 2018
PriorPrior RevisedConsensusConsensus RangeActual
New Claims - Level232 K233 K230 K225 K to 231 K209 K
4-week Moving Average - Level231.25 K231.50 K229.25 K
New Claims - Change-1 K0 K-24 K

Jobless claims had been inching higher but have now moved sharply lower, down 24,000 in the April 21 week to 209,000 and the lowest level since 1969. There are no special factors to explain the move though seasonal and calendar adjustments during April, due to Easter shifts, can be uneven. The 4-week average, which smooths weekly bumps, fell only 2,250 in the week to 299,250 which is about where it was this time last month.

Continuing claims in lagging data for the April 14 week fell 29,000 to 1.837 million while the unemployment rate for insured workers remains very low, at 1.3 percent.

Employers are holding on to their employees in what is a telling sign of strength in the labor market.

Consensus Outlook
Initial claims are expected to come in at 230,000 in the April 21 week in what would be a 2,000 rise from the prior week. Readings have been edging higher though still solidly 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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