The U.S. Labor Department has turned in its weekly jobless claims data and the report is pretty much in-line with expectations but is still not indicative of any great jobs recovery right now. Weekly jobless claims were down 1,000 to 367,000 and the prior week was revised to 368,000 from 365,000. Bloomberg had estimates of 366,000 and Dow Jones had a consensus target of 370,000 for the week. This report split the difference between the two estimates and that is going to make for a very market-neutral bias on this report.
Smoothing the jobless claims data by the four-week average shows that this reading on claims fell by 5,250 to 379,000.
The good news here is that we are not going right back in the direction of 400,000 claims each week. The bad news is that these numbers are not helping the jobs and payrolls situation outside of the efforts of lower and lower workforce participation.
JON C. OGG