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Initial Jobless Claims Plummet, But Lingering Concerns Loom

  • In the week ending November 18, initial unemployment claims dropped by 24,000 to 209,000, marking the largest decline since June, according to data from the Department of Labor.
  • The decline in initial claims is a result of atypical worker retention leading up to Thanksgiving, indicating that employers are holding onto employees in a labor market that is gradually cooling.
  • Continuing claims decreased to 1.84 million in the week ending November 11, the first decline since early September.
  • However, on an unadjusted basis, initial claims reached the highest level since July, with California, Oregon, and Kentucky leading the increase, while unadjusted continuing claims saw their largest increase in four months.
  • In addition, the youth unemployment rate for 16- to 19-year-olds has increased from 9.2% in April to 13.2% in October, which may indicate broader labor market weakness in the coming months.
  • Source: Helios Quantitative Research, Bloomberg, Department of Labor