In each Economic Update, the Research staff analyzes recently released economic indicators and addresses what these indicators mean for REALTORS® and their clients. Today’s update discusses initial jobless claims.
- Initial unemployment insurance claims for the week ending February 2 registered at 366,000, down from the previous week’s upward revised level of 371,000. The drop is not large and can be considered as part of the usual volatility in the data. The data is also preliminary and revisions have often been upward.
- The 4-week moving average – a better measure of trend- is at 350,500. This is still lower than last year’s level of about 375,000. However, the trend has been showing an increase in the last two weeks after claims hovered in the low 300s at the start of the year. Next week’s final data will give a better gauge if claims are trending up again. An increase in the number of initial claims means that more people are starting a period of unemployment.