1st Time Unemployment Claims Rise While Continued Claims Fall

By Mark Lieberman

Managing Director and Senior Economist

Highlights

  • There were 249,000 1st time claims for unemployment insurance for the week ended November 11, UP 10,000 from the prior week;
  • The number of initial claims for the week ended November 4 was unchanged at 239,000.
  • The four-week moving average of first time claims ROSE 6,500 to 237,750, the sixth straight weekly decline;
  • Four week moving average represented 0.155 percent of employment, UP from 0.150 percent one week earlier;
  • The number of continued claims – reported on a one-week lag – was DOWN 44,000 for the week ended November 4 to 1,860,000, lowest since December 29, 1973 (1,805,000);
  • The four-week moving average of continuing claims DROPPED 9,000 to 1,887,000 – the lowest since January 12, 1974 (1,881,000).

Image result for unemployment insurance claims

The labor picture continues to brighten, despite an unexpected uptick in first time claims for unemployment insurance as reported Thursday by the Department of Labor.

The positive news was the sharp decline in continued claims for unemployment insurance suggesting unemployed workers were getting jobs.

With several major retailers announcing plans to scale back or pass on hiring for the holiday shopping season, if the drop in continued claims does not include retail jobs it could be further good news since retail jobs are among the lowest paying.

The absence of retail opportunities while job prospects appear to be improving for unemployed workers could be a huge positive suggesting their jobs are coming in higher paying sectors.

The week covered by Thursday’s report included Veterans’ Day, federal holiday which was observed on Friday November 10; states have the option of observing it. State holidays typically complicate data collection for unemployment insurance claims so this claims report should be read carefully.

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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