What Do September Jobless Claims Mean for Autos?
Jobless claims fell in September
According to the latest data released for the week ending September 9, 2017, the SAAR (seasonally adjusted annual rate) for US initial jobless claims was at 284,000. The data, released on September 14, reflected a fall from jobless claims’ SAAR the previous week, which stood at 298,000.
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The U.S. Department of Labor releases initial jobless claims data every week. The data track employment conditions and tell us how many people filed for unemployment benefits in the previous week. It’s considered to be a measure of strength or weakness in the labor market.
On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, the data showed that 214,121 US citizens claimed unemployment insurance during the week ending September 9. In comparison, 250,621 individuals claimed unemployment insurance in the previous week.
Jobless claims’ four-week average
As you can see in the above chart, the four-week moving average for jobless claims is still on a downward trajectory. Despite the recent rise, it was at 263,250—near a 44-year low. One week is a short period of time to analyze the existing trend in the data. As a result, investors prefer the four-week average for jobless claims to avoid the statistical noise.
Jobless claims less than 300,000 are considered to reflect a strong job market. A recent fall in the four-week average could be a positive indicator for the auto industry.
In the next part, we’ll discuss the non-farm payroll data for August 2017.