Initial Jobless Claims, which measures individuals filing for unemployment benefits for the first time, decreased by 3,000 to 229,000.
While this is still a very low level of initial claims, the four-week moving average is at its highest since late January and this can be an early sign that companies are starting to not only pause on hiring, but are begging to lay people off due to slowdowns.
We have heard announcements of significant layoffs from several public companies, which will start to show up in these numbers. Continuing claims, which are those that continue to receive benefits after their initial claim, increased 3,000 to 1.312M, which is right around a 50-year low.
If we start to see a steady increase in jobless claims over the coming weeks and months, that can be a strong indicator that a recession is on the horizon.
We will continue to monitor jobless claims along with a number of other economic factors to help forecast how it will affect mortgage rates and home values.