For the last several months, there had been nearly a relentless slow increase in new jobless claims. That trend has broken, at least for now.
Initial jobless claims declined by 2,000 to 243,000. The 4 week average, however, increased by 1,500 to 247,000. Continuing claims declined -19,000 from their 4 month high water mark one week ago to 1,415,000:
Claims had been trending almost relentlessly higher, until one week ago. They were set to turn higher YoY in November, which would signal an imminent recession. We now have at very least a pause, and possibly (although I think it is unlikely) a reversal in trend.
Mainly I put this down to the effects of lower gas prices, which have loosened the “choke collar” on consumer spending, although it may also reflect to some extent a bottoming of the implosion in crypto-related layoffs.
Shorter version: put the recession on hold, for now!