The level of new claims for unemployment benefits was unchanged at 230,000 in the April 27 week. While levels stayed at those not seen since late January and early February when the partial federal government shutdown helped elevate demand for unemployment insurance, this time around it is probably more that a mismatch in seasonal adjustment factors have kept the headline higher. The variability in adjusting for the timing of Passover/Easter can make it difficult to capture pattern.
Unadjusted claims totaled 204,035 in the April 27 week, little different than the 211,804 in the prior week. The four-week moving average puts claims at 212,500 in the week, which is probably consistent with the underlying trend at present.
The Labor Department cited no special factors and no states estimated claims.
Continuing claims for the week ended April 20 were up 17,000 to 1.671 million, a minimal change that leaves levels low in the historical context. The insured rate of unemployment remained at 1.2% where it has been for about a year.
There was nothing in the report to suggest that conditions in the labor market are anything but stretched.
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