Initial jobless claims are steady near historic lows, down 1,000 in the November 3 week to a nearly as expected 214,000. The 4-week average has been edging very slightly higher on hurricane effects but is down marginally at 213,750 in the latest week. A comparison with the 4-week average in early October shows a 4,000 rise. Florida and Georgia, the two states affected by Hurricane Michael, posted declines in the latest week.
Continuing claims continue to make new lows, down 8,000 in lagging date for the October 27 week to 1.623 million with the 4-week average down 7,500 at 1.633 million. Both of these are the lowest readings since the summer of 1973.
The unemployment rate for insured workers is unchanged at only 1.1 percent and underscores that of all the elements of the economy, the labor market is arguably the strongest.
Hurricane effects have come and gone but forecasters see virtually no improvement for the November 3 week, at a consensus 213,000 for initial claims vs 214,000 in the October 27 week.