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Mid-week Market Report

Jobless Claims Down for 15th Week in a Row as Unemployment is 11.9%

The total number of “jobless claims” is an important weekly, macroeconomic statistic reported by the U.S. Department of Labor. Big picture, the number of jobless claims reflects the number of people filing to receive unemployment insurance benefits and it is further broken down into two categories.

The first category is initial jobless claims – that means people filing for unemployment insurance benefits for the very first time. The second category is continuing – that means what it sounds like – the unemployed who have been receiving unemployment insurance benefits for some time.

The jobless claims number is an important leading economic indicator and is reflective of the overall health of the economy. It’s important to recognize, however, that jobless claims are a leading indicator of the economy, not necessarily the stock or bond markets.

Since the weekly jobless claims figure can fluctuate significantly, economists often pay more attention to the moving four-week average of jobless claims versus the weekly one. The report is released at 8:30 a.m. EST on Thursdays and can impact daily market movements.

Jobless Claims for Week Ending July 11th

On Thursday, July 16th, the Department of Labor released the following:

  • “In the week ending July 11, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 1,300,000, a decrease of 10,000 from the previous week's revised level.
  • The 4-week moving average was 1,375,000, a decrease of 60,000 from the previous week's revised average.
  • The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 11.9 percent for theweek ending July 4, a decrease of 0.3 percentage point from the previous week's revised rate.
  • The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending July 4 was 17,338,000, a decrease of 422,000 from the previous week's revised level.
  • The 4-week moving average was 18,272,250, a decrease of 737,750 from the previous week's revised average.”

These results reflect a 15-week streak of declining jobless claims, although that streak should be viewed in context of massive claims since mid-March.

How is Your State Doing?

Also according to the Department of Labor’s release on July 16th, we learned the following:

  • “The highest insured unemployment rates in the week ending June 27 were in Puerto Rico (26.8), Nevada (20.9), Hawaii (19.9), New York (17.0), Louisiana (16.6), California (15.9), Massachusetts (15.6), Connecticut (15.2), Georgia (14.1), and Rhode Island (14.0).
  • The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending July 4 were in Texas (+20,506), New Jersey (+19,410), Maryland (+10,568), Louisiana (+9,441), and New York (+3,906), while the largest decreases were in Indiana (-22,725), Florida (-17,429), California (-12,571), Georgia (- 12,325), and Oklahoma (-8,982).”

More Data Later in the Week

More economic data will be released later this week, including the FHFA House Price Index on Wednesday; the EIA Natural Gas Report and Kansas City Fed Manufacturing Index on Thursday; and New Home Sales on Friday.

Sources: dol.gov