The 4-Week Moving Average of Initial Claims is a subcomponent in the Economic cycle indicator in TJT’s proprietary InVEST Risk Model®.
New unemployment claims are compiled weekly to show the number of individuals who filed for unemployment insurance for the first time. An increasing (decreasing) trend suggests a deteriorating (improving) labor market. The four-week moving average of new claims smooths out weekly volatility.
Initial jobless claims for the week ending 12/7 jumped to 252,000, up 49,000 from the prior week’s 203,000. This moved the 4-week moving average up to 224,000.
Historically, weakness in the economy tends to show up in weekly initial jobless claims prior to the overall unemployment rate increasing. The large week over week increase bears watching to see if a trend develops or if it was an outlier.
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