Initial jobless claims for the week ending December 24 increased by 9,000 to 225,000 consensus 220,000) while continuing jobless claims for the week ending December 17 increased by 41,000 to 1,710,000.
The key takeaway from the report is the level of continuing jobless claims is the highest since February and up noticeably since September when it was just shy of 1.350 million, suggesting that a very tight labor market is showing some signs of loosening up based on the extended time it is taking for dislocated employees to find a new position
The four-week moving average for initial claims decreased by 250 to 221,000.
The four-week moving average for continuing claims increased by 25,250 to 1,679,500.
The total number of continued weeks claimed for benefits in all programs for the week ending December 10 was 1,619,728, an increase of 91,461 from the previous week. In the same week a year ago, there were 2,177,372 weekly claims filed for benefits in all programs.