Jobless Claims Remain Low

Initial Jobless Claims (week ended 12/3/2016)

– New Claims seasonally adjusted 258,000. Previous was 268,000
– New Claims unadjusted totaled 352,931 an increase of 103,157 from the previous week.
– 4-week Moving Average seasonally adjusted 251,500. Previous was 258,000

Because of Christmas jobs data and Initial Jobless Claims data have massive seasonal adjustments in December and January. In January 2016 there were 2,966,000 fewer people working than in December 2015 but the seasonal adjustments turned that into a 272,000 gain. Seasonal adjustments make sense but when the size of the adjustment overwhelms the data then the data is less valuable for determining policy.