Reclaiming Common Sense

First-time Claims tend to Spike during the First week of January

First-time claims Lowest for This Week of Year since 1969

Last week was the 251st consecutive week with Seasonally Adjusted (SA) First-time (FTU) Claims being reported under 300,000 claims. Last week was the 140th consecutive week where we had the seasonally adjusted continuing claims (CC) reported under 2.0 million claims. It was the New Year's week and was a dead week for economic data. This week is a different story.

Non-Seasonally Adjusted Jumped - As it Does the First Week of January. Non-seasonally adjusted claims came in at 335,100. This is lower than last year's 350,949 claim. Normally the first week of January has the highest value for NSA FTU for the entire year. The first-time unemployment rate is just 0.23%, the lowest ever for the first week of January.

Seasonally adjusted first-time claims dropped to 214,000 claims. This is the 252nd consecutive weeks with the SA FTU reported under 300,000.

Continuing Claims jumped from last week's level. Non-Seasonally adjusted Continuing Claims was up compared to the Fourth Week of December 2018, comparable to the 5th week of December 2018, roughly 70,000 claims higher for 2.2 million more workers.  If the level is maintained next week then the downward trend will continue

Seasonally Adjusted Continuing Claims came in at 1.803 Million. This is higher than the fourth week of December last year and comparable to the fifth week last year.The same is true for the Insured Unemployment rate. This is up from last year's fourth week value and down from the final week value for December 2018, the lowest ever at the time for the final week of the year.This is the difference one day makes from a statistical purpose. This is also the 142nd consecutive week with the SA CC under 2.0 million claims.

What does this all mean? People are being hired and fired. They are being hired and fired at some of the best levels recorded during the past 40 years. High levels of hiring, low levels of unemployment. Tomorrow we will receive the December Jobs Report. The December ADP Payroll report was released yesterday and points toward a potential upward surprise for jobs and employees and a potential surprise downward movement on unemployment.

It's the Economy.