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First Cut: Initial jobless claims return to underlying trend in week ended July 27

Initial jobless claims rose 8,000 to 215,000 in the week ended July 27 after a revised 207,000 in the prior week (previously 206,000). After some noise in the data related to seasonal adjustment earlier in the month, the underlying trend has reasserted itself. The four-week moving average was 211,500, not materially different from the headline and likely representative of an environment with low levels of layoff activity. Indeed, the unadjusted level of claims in the July 27 week was 177,948, the lowest since 171,816 in the September 29, 2018 week.

The Labor Department cited no special factors in the data and no state estimated claims.

Continuing claims were up 22,000 in the July 20 week to 1.699 million. The insured rate of unemployment continued to plod along at 1.2% for a 15th straight month. The unrounded rate was 1.178%, up from the 1.163% in the prior week.


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