2018 Economic Calendar
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Jobless Claims  
Released On 1/4/2018 8:30:00 AM For wk12/30, 2017
PriorPrior RevisedConsensusConsensus RangeActual
New Claims - Level245 K247 K240 K239 K to 245 K250 K
4-week Moving Average - Level237.75 K238.25 K241.75 K
New Claims - Change0 K2 K3 K

Highlights
Initial jobless claims rose 3,000 in the December 30 week to 250,000 which is higher than Econoday's consensus but still consistent with strength in the labor market and points to strength for December's payroll data and unemployment rate. The 4-week average is up 3,500 to 241,750 but is very little changed from the month-ago comparison which, again, is a positive signal for tomorrow's employment report.

Continuing claims are also positive, falling 37,000 in lagging data for the December 23 week to 1.914 million with this 4-week average up fractionally to 1.923 million which, like that for initial claims, is little changed from the month-ago comparison. The unemployment rate for insured workers is unchanged at a very low 1.4 percent.

Initial claims from Puerto Rico remain elevated, at 4,074 in the latest week which is about double than normal.

Consensus Outlook
Initial claims are expected to come in at 240,000 in the December 30 week vs 245,000 in the two prior weeks. Claims have been very low and favorable and consistent with very strong demand for labor.

Definition
New unemployment claims are compiled weekly to show the number of individuals who filed for unemployment insurance for the first time. An increasing (decreasing) trend suggests a deteriorating (improving) labor market. The four-week moving average of new claims smooths out weekly volatility.  Why Investors Care
 
[Chart]
Weekly series fluctuate more dramatically than monthly series even when the series are adjusted for seasonal variation. The 4-week moving average gives a better perspective on the underlying trend.
Data Source: Haver Analytics
 
 

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