1st Time Unemployment Claims Decline; Continued Claims Fall Year-Year for Eight Years

By Mark Lieberman

Managing Director and Senior Economist


  • There were 230,000 1st time claims for unemployment insurance for the week ended January 27, a DECREASE of 1,000 from the prior week;
  • The number of initial claims for the week ended January 20 was REVISED DOWN 2,000 to 231,000
  • The four-week moving average of first time claims DROPPED 5,000 to 234,500;
  • Four week moving average represented 0.152 percent of employment, DOWN from 0.155 percent one week earlier;
  • The number of continued claims – reported on a one-week lag – for the week ended January 20 was 1,953,000, UP 13,000 from the previous week’s UPWARDLY REVISED 1,940,000;
  • The four-week moving average of continuing claims INCREASED 12,000 to 1,9232,750;

Data Source: Department of Labor

Image result for unemployment insurance claims


  • In the last 12 months, the four-week moving average of first time claims for unemployment insurance has fallen 4.6 percent.
  • The four-week moving average has improved year-year for the last 15 straight weeks and virtually every week since mid-June 2016, interrupted by the aftershock of last summer’s hurricanes.
  • The four-week moving average of continued claims has dropped (meaning people are leaving the unemployment insurance rolls) every week since the week ended January 23, 2010 – a span of eight years. The Ferris wheel that is weekly report on unemployment insurance claim filing was climbing last week as we finished the last four-day work week of the month with only one more until Spring.

You can hear Mark Lieberman every Friday at 6:20 am on the Morning Briefing on P.O.T.U.S. radio @sxmpotus, Sirius-XM 124. You can follow him on Twitter at @foxeconomics.

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