Not to be confused with the larger monthly jobs report (the one that includes “nonfarm payrolls” as well as the official unemployment rate in the US), the weekly jobless claims provide a combined measure of state-level unemployment filings and submissions. . That data every Thursday morning. Interest rates don’t respond nearly as much to the weekly claims data, but the past two Thursdays have been an exception.

Both this week and last, jobless claims came in at their highest level since late 2021. 2017.

While the outright numbers aren’t very troubling, investors are reacting because the data could be an early sign that other labor metrics will soon change in a more noticeable way. In general, weak economic data prompts investors to buy bonds, which in turn puts downward pressure on rates. This is exactly what happened last 2 Thursday mornings.

In today’s case, it was sufficient to move the bond from slightly weaker territory (ie slightly higher rates) to well into stronger territory (ie marginally lower rates). After pushing past the 7% range yesterday, the average top-tier 30-year fixed rate is back in the high 6s.


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