Announced this morning, Initial Jobless Claims were 218,000 for the week ending December 23rd, higher than expected and 12,000 higher than the revised figure from the previous week. In addition, Continuing Claims were 1,875,000 for the week ending December 16th, as expected and 14,000 higher than the previous week’s revised figure.
Overall, initial claims were higher than expected while continuing claims were right in line with estimates. Both measures are a bit higher than the previous week. As a real-time view into the dynamics of the labor market, initial claims indicate a semblance of the resilience from earlier in the year remaining in place. It appears that companies still are able to retain workers in the current environment, although continuing claims have moved markedly higher from the 1.3M figure in the fall of 2022. While consumers remain more selective with their purchases, having and retaining a job is a crucial factor for consumers to keep spending. Given consumer spending is close to 70% of the total US economy, both the labor market and consumer trends will remain key inputs for the markets and the Federal Reserve as they navigate their policy in the coming months.
In all, the yield on the 10-year US treasury is little-changed following the report and equity futures are mixed as we head into the market open. Have a safe and happy New Year!
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