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--Four-Week Moving Average -4,750 To 220,250, Could Fall Next Week
By Kevin Kastner and Harrison Clarke
WASHINGTON (MNI) - The level of initial claims fell by 1,000 to
211,000 in the May 18 employment survey week, compared with expectations
by Bloomberg and MNI for a slight rebound to 215,000.
Here are some of the key takeaways from the data released Thursday:
- The initial claims data reflect a 3,025 increase in unadjusted
claims, when seasonal factors had expected a 4,462 increase in the
current week. The unadjusted state data for the current week show a
4,228 gain in Ohio, almost doubling the level of claims from the
- Initial claims were at a level of 193,000 in the April 13
employment survey week, a 50-year low, so the comparison with current
week's level, which was 18,000 higher, suggests only how unstable the
claims level was in mid-April. A week later, claims had jumped to
230,000, so a comparison with the April 20 week instead would have shown
a month/month decline.
- The four-week moving average for claims fell by 4,750 to 220,250
in the May 18 week and would be expected to fall further next week as
a 230,000 level in the April 27 week rolls out.
- Continuing claims rose by 12,000 to 1.676 million in the May 11
week, lifting the four-week average by 5,500 to 1.674 million. The rate
of insured unemployment remained at 1.2%, unchanged from last week and
the year-ago rate.
- Both initial and continuing claims, and their four-week averages,
were below their year-ago levels, returning to that trend in early-May
after being above their year-ago points for several weeks.
** MNI Washington Bureau: 202-371-2121 **