Initial jobless claims for the week ending January 28 decreased by 3,000 to 183,000 (consensus 201,000), which is the lowest number of initial claims since April 2022. Continuing jobless claims for the week ending January 21 decreased by 11,000 to 1.655 million.
The key takeaway from the report is that the low level of initial claims is an encouraging signal for the labor market, which, in light of Fed Chair Powell’s comments yesterday, is not the scare factor for the market that it has been in the past. On the contrary, the default view for the market now is to perceive it as good portent for a soft landing.
The four-week moving average for initial claims decreased by 5,750 to 191,750.
The four-week moving average for continuing claims decreased by 10,500 to 1,651,500.
The total number of continued weeks claimed for benefits in all programs for the week ending January 14 was 1,890,277, a decrease of 45,459 from the previous week. In the same week a year ago, there were 2,198,192 weekly claims filed for benefits in all programs.