Jobless claims continue to show a healthy economy

Jobless claims continue to show a healthy economy

I’ll keep this brief. This morning’s weekly report on initial jobless claims continues to show no danger of any imminent downturn.

The weekly number was 202,000, close to its 50 year lows last year. The 4 week average was 211,750, also close to its recent 50 year lows. Below are the monthly (blue) and moving 4 week averages (red):

Figure 1

The less leading but also less noisy 4 week average of continuing claims was 1.3% higher YoY, which shows weakness, but as the below 35 year graph indicates, is not near the 5% higher threshold which has typically been exceeded before recessions:

That this metric has refused to turn negative, and the stock market continues to make new highs, are the two biggest reasons why I have never gone on “recession warning” (vs. “watch”) in the past year.

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