Initial Jobless Claims Fall Slightly More than Expected;

James Hyerczyk
Updated: Aug 17, 2023, 14:51 GMT+00:00

Weekly Jobless claims dropped by 11,000, the 4-week average rose slightly to 234,250, with claims at 1,834,497, surpassing 2022 levels.

Weekly Initial Claims


  • Initial jobless claims decrease by 11,000 to 239,000.
  • 4-week moving average shows a slight uptick.
  • Year-over-year claims higher than 2022.

Week Ending August 12 Overview

In a recent update, initial jobless claims for the week concluding on August 12 totaled 239,000, marking a decrease of 11,000 from the previous week. This is an improvement even though the previous week’s figures underwent an upward revision, moving from 248,000 to 250,000.

Insights from the 4-week Moving Average

The more stable 4-week moving average amounted to 234,250, indicating a slight uptick of 2,750. For context, the preceding week’s average was adjusted upward by 500, landing at 231,500 from the initial 231,000.

Insured Unemployment Figures

For the week ending August 5, the rate of advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment was pegged at 1.2 percent, experiencing a 0.1 percentage point rise. This metric translates to 1,716,000 insured unemployed individuals, which is up by 32,000 from the prior week’s static figure of 1,684,000. Yet, when we look at the broader 4-week moving average for insured unemployment, there was a decrease by 8,250, positioning the total at 1,692,750.

Comparative Analysis with 2022

Drawing a year-over-year comparison, the total number of continuous benefit claims for all programs during the week ending July 29 was 1,834,497. This number represents a decline of 17,663 from the immediate previous week, but it’s notably higher than the 1,481,402 claims reported in the analogous week of 2022.

Philly Fed Manufacturing Survey Expands

Manufacturing activity in August saw a revival, with positive indicators for general activity, new orders, and shipments — the first such uptick since May 2022. The diffusion index for general activity rebounded to 12.0 from -13.5 the previous month, with 25% of firms reporting increases. New orders, previously negative for 14 months, jumped to 16.0. However, employment declined, with the employment index at -6.0. Although the price indexes hovered near long-run averages, the optimism for growth in the upcoming six months waned, signaling cautious industry expectations.

About the Author

James is a Florida-based technical analyst, market researcher, educator and trader with 35+ years of experience. He is an expert in the area of patterns, price and time analysis as it applies to futures, Forex, and stocks.

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