NEW YORK — There were 370,000 seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance in the United States in the week ending May 12, unchanged from the previous week’s upwardly revised level.
The four-week moving average of initial claims, which better controls for weekly volatility, declined to 375,000 from 379,750 the previous week. Continuing claims rose 18,000 to 3,265,000 after falling 43,000 to 3,247,000 the previous week.
“The four-week moving average of initial claims in the latest week, which happens to coincide with the May payroll employment survey week, is in line with the 375,500 that prevailed in April’s survey week, suggesting that the job market could see only minimal improvement upon the disappointing 115,000 gain in nonfarm payrolls posted last month,” said David Onyett-Jeffries, an economist with RBC Economics Research. “That said, the effectively unchanged four-week moving average still reflects the impact of the bounce in claims that was at least in part related to issues seasonally adjusting the weekly data in mid-April (due to the Easter holiday) as well as the unwinding of the favorable weather effects seen over the winter (warmer-than-normal temperatures resulted in fewer seasonal layoffs). As such, this does not necessarily imply a deterioration in the underlying trend and we continue to expect labour markets conditions to improve, albeit gradually.”
SOURCE: RBC Economics Research press release