2018 Economic Calendar
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Jobless Claims  
Released On 3/1/2018 8:30:00 AM For wk2/24, 2018
PriorPrior RevisedConsensusConsensus RangeActual
New Claims - Level222 K220 K230 K226 K to 240 K210 K
4-week Moving Average - Level226 K225.50 K220.50 K
New Claims - Change-7 K-9 K-10 K

Today's personal income & outlays report points to economic health as do initial jobless claims, down 10,000 in the February 24 week to a lower-than-expected 210,000 for the best reading in 49 years. The 4-week average is at 220,500 and is trending roughly 15,000 lower than the month-ago comparison which points at increasing strength for the February employment report.

Continuing claims, however, did rise 57,000 in lagging data for the February 17 week though the 4-week average is down slightly at a 1.920 million level which is slightly lower than the month-ago comparison. The unemployment rate for insured workers is at a very low 1.4 percent.

Claims are low which means layoffs are minimal and demand for labor strong, further confirmation that the economy is at or very near full employment.

Consensus Outlook
Initial claims are expected to come in at 230,000 in the February 17 week. Claims have been low and consistent with minimal layoffs and strong demand for labor.

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
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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