The Labor Department’s report on weekly jobless claims may have the caveat that Easter was earlier but it is ugly on the surface. The weekly jobless claims rose 13,000 to a seasonally adjusted 380,000. This was one of the largest single jumps in claims in months and this adds to the argument that jobs are not anywhere are rosy as that 8.2% magic unemployment rate suggests. Dow Jones was calling for only 358,000 for the week.
To add insult to injury, the prior week’s reading was revised up by 10,000 to 367,000. The four-week average aims to smooth out the weekly data and that rose 4,250 to 368,500.
There is a one-week lag to the continuing jobless claims and that was reported as a drop of 98,000 to 3,251,000 in the prior week.
Maybe the Labor Department can blame Easter here or maybe not. The prior week’s higher revision speaks for itself and the payrolls created in last week’s unemployment report came in at only about half of expectations. The jobs data sure seems to be turning for the worse.
JON C. OGG