2017 Economic Calendar
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Jobless Claims  
Released On 12/7/2017 8:30:00 AM For wk12/2, 2017
PriorConsensusConsensus RangeActual
New Claims - Level238 K240 K234 K to 245 K236 K
4-week Moving Average - Level242.25 K241.50 K
New Claims - Change-2 K-2 K

Highlights
Despite an unexpected uptick for Puerto Rico, initial jobless claims fell 2,000 in the December 2 week to a lower-than-expected 236,000. The 4-week average is down less than a thousand to a 241,000 level that remains about 10,000 above the month-ago trend and, though low, nevertheless points to less strength for tomorrow's monthly employment report.

Claims in Puerto Rico had fallen sharply in the prior week, down nearly 4,000 to the 3,000 level, but rose back up in the latest week to 7,115. The Labor Department is warning that backlogged claims continue to be processed in the territory and conditions have not yet returned to normal.

A positive are continuing claims which, instead of drifting higher like initial claims, have been steady. Claims in lagging data for the November 25 week fell 52,000 to 1.908 million and remain roughly unchanged against the prior month. The unemployment rate for insured workers remains very low, at 1.4 percent.

The labor market is very healthy though claims data, along with this morning's Challenger report, are not pointing to increasing strength for November's employment data.

Recent History Of This Indicator
Initial claims are expected to come in at 240,000 in the December 2 week vs 238,000 in the November 25 week. Data throughout this report are near historic lows and claims from Puerto Rico may now be coming down following Hurricane Maria.

Definition
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
 
[Chart]
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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