The 3k initial claims rise to 224k
The 3k initial claims rise to 224k in the BLS and Veteran's Day week of November followed an unusually big upward revision that left a 7k rise to 221k (was 216k) from 214k at the start of the month, as hurricane distortions have failed to unwind, and are now potentially being aggravated by the fires in California. The double-storms have left claims well above the prior string of 49-year lows, of 202k in the September BLS survey week, 204k in the week before that, and 205k at the start of September. Today's holiday-impacted week marks the start of the period of holiday volatility for claims that extends through the MLK weekend. The NSA state data for claims revealed a 6k drop for NSA claims in California this week after a 4k rise in the prior week when fire activity escalated. For the hurricanes, claims rose in the week after the storm for both Florence and Michael and have since proven slow to unwind. Claims are averaging a surprisingly lofty 221k in November, versus lower prior averages of 214k in October, 207k in September, 211k in August and 215k in July. Today's 224k BLS survey week reading sits well above recent readings of 210k in October, 202k in September, 210k in August and 208k in July. Our 215k November nonfarm payroll estimate reflects a modest post-hurricane lift but a possible headwind from the fires in California that raged through the BLS survey week. Analysts saw a 250k payroll pop in October and a 190k average gain through Q3.