Weekly Unemployment Claims Dropped to 215,000 Last Week

James Hyerczyk
Updated: May 23, 2024, 14:57 GMT+00:00

Key Points:

  • Initial unemployment claims fall to 215,000, a drop of 8,000 from the previous week, indicating a strengthening labor market.
  • The insured unemployment rate remains unchanged at 1.2 percent, showing stability in unemployment benefits.
  • The four-week moving average for insured unemployment increases modestly by 5,000, reflecting slight fluctuations in the job market.
Initial jobless claims

Initial Claims Data

In the week ending May 18, the seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance fell to 215,000. This marks a decrease of 8,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 223,000. The four-week moving average, a less volatile measure, rose slightly by 1,750 to 219,750 from the previous week’s revised average of 218,000. Traders were looking for 220,000, a drop from the previous week’s 223,000.

Insured Unemployment Rate

For the week ending May 11, the seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate remained steady at 1.2 percent. This stability indicates no significant changes in the rate of insured unemployment.

Insured Unemployment Figures

The total number of insured unemployed individuals for the week ending May 11 increased by 8,000 to 1,794,000, up from the previous week’s revised figure of 1,786,000. Despite this increase, the four-week moving average of insured unemployment rose by a modest 5,000, reaching 1,782,250. This average is a slight revision from the prior week’s figure of 1,777,250.

Market Forecast

The decline in initial claims to 215,000, below the pre-report estimate of 220,000, suggests a resilient job market. Although the four-week averages for both initial and insured unemployment claims have increased slightly, the steady insured unemployment rate of 1.2 percent points to underlying stability in the labor market.


Given these figures, the outlook remains cautiously bullish for the job market. The slight decrease in initial claims, combined with the stability in the insured unemployment rate, indicates that the labor market is holding steady. Traders can expect a continuation of this trend unless upcoming economic indicators suggest otherwise.

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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