Jobless claims are now flashing red too

I just got this via email from the US Labor Department:

In the week ending February 2, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 234,000, a decrease of 19,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level of 253,000. The 4-week moving average was 224,750, an increase of 4,500 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 220,250.

This is the second consecutive week of elevated jobless claims. The good thing is there is likely residual seasonality here. And this is only two weeks’ of data. Plus the 4-week moving average a year ago was 228,000. And we’re still below that figure. The bad news is that this confirms the negative interpretation to the rise in the baseline unemployment rate.

I should also point out that broader measures of unemployment are now also rising as well. The number bottomed at 7.4% in August 2018, with the last reading coming in at 8.1%.

U-6 rate 2019-01.png

In the past two business cycles, this was an early harbinger of recession.

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