Initial jobless claims present a picture of stable conditions with a decline of 6,000 to 212,000 in the October 19 week. The October 12 week was revised up to 218,000 (previously 4,000). Perhaps the data captured a few more layoffs that were related to the UAW strike since these have been surprisingly scant given the size of the walkout. However, businesses are not anxious to lose trained workers at the moment, so a reluctance to layoff those already on the payroll is understandable. The four-week moving average did not change much, dipping a small 750 to 215,000.
The Labor Department cited no special factors and no states estimated claims.
The insured rate of unemployment remained at 1.2% in the October 12 week. Outside of the recent brief slip to 1.1%, the rate has stuck there since May 2018. The number of continuing claims was barely changed at down 1,000 to 1.682 million.
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