Today's release of weekly initial jobless claims came in at a seasonally adjusted 399K, which was more than the expected 375K and the highest level seen since the end of November. In recent weeks, there has been a lot of attention (or at least more than usual) placed on the non-seasonally adjusted (NSA) readings. This morning was no different as some are pointing to the 102K increase and calling it an alarming signal.
So how worried should we be about it? As of now, not much. The chart below shows weekly initial jobless claims on a NSA basis. Even after this week's reportedly big jump, for the first week of January (red dots), initial claims have not been this low since January 2008. Additionally, compared to recent years, this week's increase of 102K is actually a lot less than the prior three years where NSA claims rose by between 175K and 225K.
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