Powell Perplexed: Initial Jobless Claims Plunge To 9-Month Lows

Tyler Durden's Photo
by Tyler Durden
Thursday, Jan 26, 2023 - 01:37 PM

Following last week's unexpected plunge in initial and continuing claims - despite numerous layoff announcements - analysts expected a small rebound this week but they were wrong as the number of American filing for unemployment benefits for the first time tumbled to 186k (205k exp). Unadjusted claims crashed back to earth...

Source: Bloomberg

That is the lowest level for initial claims since April 2022.

Last week we saw an unusually large plunge in claims in NY state. This week the massive outlier is California...

While initial claims continued to slide, continuing claims rebounded (for the second week in a row) the prior week to 1.675mm...

Source: Bloomberg

This is not the picture that Powell is hoping for given the unprecedented tightening of monetary policy he has unleashed over the last year. There is nothing in this data that warrants a 'pause' by The Fed.

The headline claims data is completely decoupled from ISM Surveys' jobs components...

Source: Bloomberg

Interestingly, however, the aggregate composite number of Americans claiming benefits is rising...

Source: Bloomberg

This looks a lot more like reality we would expected after 100bps of bps of rate-hikes.