Quantcast

Jobless Claims: Like the Hurricanes Never Happened


Initial jobless claims fell sharply in the latest week as the impact of hurricanes Harvey and Irma, which elevated recent claims data, fades.

Claims fell by 15,000 to 243,000 for the week ended October 7, according to the government's latest report. Economists were expecting them to come in at 258,000, the same as the prior week. Last week's claims figure was revised down by 2,000 to 258,000 in Thursday's report.

The four-week moving average rose to just 257,500, an decrease of 9, 500 from the prior week's' average, which was revise down by 1,250.

Claims have been in the 250,000 range most of the year, but spiked temporarily to nearly 300,000 due to job dislocations created by the hurricanes. Now rebuilding efforts may be adding more jobs.

Thomas Simons of Jefferies covers the hurricanes impact on claims in his report. He writes:

The Department of Labor noted once again that claims were affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria this week, though the effects appear to be relatively modest. Harvey affected claims in Texas, though the detailed data continues to show that claims are returning back to normal there. Claims in Texas (NSA) were 16,567 compared with 17,063 in the prior week. Claims in Texas surged to over 60,000 in the week immediately after the storm, which compares with 12,105 claims filed in Texas during the week before Harvey.

Irma affected claims in Florida, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. The latter two were also affected by Maria. Claims in Florida fell to 13,559 from 14,902. This compares with claims around 5,000 in the weeks leading up to Irma. Claims in the Virgin Islands rose to 1,1547 from 1,054. They were 68 in the week prior to the storm. Claims in Puerto Rico fell to 118 from 328.

"Bottom line, outside of the hurricane affected areas, the pace of firing's remain low and as seen with continuing claims, go back 44 years to see the same level," writes Peter Boockvar of The Lindsey Group.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.



This article appears in: Investing , Investing Ideas
Referenced Symbols: NSA


More from Barron's

Subscribe






Barron's
Contributor:

Barron's









Research Brokers before you trade

Want to trade FX?