Skip to Content
November 22, 2017 Blog 1 min read

Initial jobless claims fall by 13,000, roughly in line with expectations.

Line graph showing jobles claims history by the thousands.

Initial claims for Americans applying for first-time unemployment insurance fell to 239,000 for the week ended November 18, down from 252,000 the week prior, roughly in line with expectations.


The four-week moving average edged modestly higher, up 1,250 to 239,750, remaining in striking distance of the 40-year low point.


This morning’s release also marks the 142nd consecutive week that jobless claims have been below 300,000, which is the longest such streak since 1970 when the labor market was considerably smaller.


Coupled with the lowest unemployment rate in nearly two decades, growing job openings, and strong job creation, the jobless claims data still paints a positive labor market picture.  Employers maintain a positive outlook, the market for skilled workers remains tight, and the competition for that talent continues to heat up.


At this point, it’s basically a foregone conclusion that the Fed will announce another rate hike in December, but the markets have much less conviction in the central bank’s projected rate path for 2018 and beyond. The impending change in leadership of the Fed creates an opening for a potential shift in policy, although President Trump’s nominee Jerome Powell is not expected to chart a new course.  Beyond that, with inflation rising only gradually and labor markets tightening, any deviation from the prescribed tightening path seems unlikely.

Past performance does not guarantee future results. All investments include risk and have the potential for loss as well as gain.


Data sources for peer group comparisons, returns, and standard statistical data are provided by the sources referenced and are based on data obtained from recognized statistical services or other sources believed to be reliable. However, some or all information has not been verified prior to the analysis, and we do not make any representations as to its accuracy or completeness. Any analysis non-factual in nature constitutes only current opinions, which are subject to change. Benchmarks or indices are included for information purposes only to reflect the current market environment; no index is a directly tradable investment. There may be instances when consultant opinions regarding any fundamental or quantitative analysis may not agree.


Plante Moran Financial Advisors (PMFA) publishes this update to convey general information about market conditions and not for the purpose of providing investment advice. Investment in any of the companies or sectors mentioned herein may not be appropriate for you. You should consult a representative from PMFA for investment advice regarding your own situation.