One of the best high-frequency gauges of US economic health is weekly new applications for unemployment benefits.
It’s doing something interesting at the moment.
Should we be freaking out about this?
Because initial jobless claims remain very low. In fact just a couple weeks ago they were at their lowest level in 40 years.
That doesn’t mean there isn’t some pain being felt in the US economy. For instance in the US energy sector things are definitely not great. The sector has lost about 18,000 jobs over the last year.
But for the economy as a whole, the rise in claims isn’t telegraphing any real reason to panic.
It does, however, bear watching.