Initial Jobless Claims Hovers At 6-Month Highs Led By Pennsylvania

Initial jobless claims fell very modestly week-over-week (off revised data) but missed expectations at 231k (vs 225k exp).

Smoothed over 4 weeks, initial jobless claims are at their highest in 6 months...

States with the greatest movement in claims (data as of Nov. 24 - lagged by one week):

  • Increases in claims: Pennsylvania 3,544; Wisconsin 2,119; Massachusetts 1,224

  • Decreases in claims: Texas 5,480; California 4,245; Florida 2,081

On the brighter side, continuing claims fell dramatically after 3 weeks of rising...


Piling on the disappointment, Challenger, Gray & Christmas announced 53,073 job cuts in November (494,775 year to date) - the most for any November since 2012.

Retail continues to lead all sectors in year-to-date job cut announcements with 96,504, and Telecommunications companies follow with 59,518, while financial firms have announced 41,351 cuts this year.

For October and November together, layoffs totaled 128,717 in 2018, the most for the two months combined since 2008.




Initial claims are certainly flashing a warning for aggregate employment (as noted by ADP's disappointment this morning and Zandi's comment that "job growth has likely peaked.")...

Will a weak payrolls tomorrow cement the dovish Fed's position? (and prove Trump right), or are they set on hiking no matter what they say.