The 10k initial claims rise to 231k
The 10k initial claims rise to 231k in the Christmas week of December, which also marks the first full week of the government shutdown, extended the prior 4k increase to 221k (was 216k) from 217k in the BLS survey week, as claims rise further above the 206k figure in the second week of December and the 49-year low of 202k in mid-September. Today's reporting period extends through day 8 of the government shutdown, and there is a likely lift from laid off private contractors that should extend into January. Federal employees are captured by a different series that is released with an extra one-week lag, and today's report revealed a flat figure in the week that captured only the first day of the shutdown. A surge is likely in next week's report as the shutdown continues. Claims are averaging 219k thus far in December, versus a lofty 227k November reading, but lower prior averages of 214k in October, 207k in September, and 211k in August. The 217k December BLS survey week reading undershot the 225k November figure, and lies above prior readings of 210k in October, 202k in September, and 210k in August. for a discussion of the risks for Friday's jobs report, where analysts expect a 205k December nonfarm payroll gain.