1st Time Unemployment Claims Up

By Mark Lieberman

Managing Director and Senior Economist


  • There were 233,000 1st time claims for unemployment insurance for the week ended January 20, an INCREASE of 17,000 from the prior week;
  • The number of initial claims for the week ended January 13 was REVISED DOWN 4,000 to 216,000
  • The four-week moving average of first time claims DROPPED 3,500 to 240,000;
  • Four week moving average represented 0.156 percent of employment, DOWN from 0.159 percent one week earlier;
  • The number of continued claims – reported on a one-week lag – for the week ended January 6 was 1,937,000, DOWN 28,000 from the previous week’s UPWARDLY REVISED 1,965,000;
  • The four-week moving average of continuing claims DROPPED 3,500 to 1,9201,000;

Data Source: Department of Labor 


  • The revision to the number of 1st time claims filings for the week ended January 13, made that week’s tally the lowest since the week ended February 17, 1973;
  • From mid-December to mid-January, the number of first time claims fell 14,000 but the moving average rose 1,500.

Image result for unemployment insurance

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.

It won’t be until the end of February that holidays will stop complicating the analysis of this weekly report.

The real impact of these data points will start to show up in the continued claims numbers reflecting as they do the need for workers either to replace those who have been laid off or for new positions. The next Employment Situation report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics will be released on Groundhog Day.

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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