The U.S. Labor Department has reported that weekly jobless claims came in unchanged from the prior week at 370,000. The prior week’s reading was revised from a preliminary report of 367,000 up to a slightly higher 370,000. Dow Jones had a consensus of 367,000 and Bloomberg had a consensus of 365,000 for the week.
In an effort to smooth out the volatility, the four-week average fell by 4,750 to 375,000.
The army of unemployed, measured by the continuing claims and reported with a one-week lag, rose by 18,000 to 3,265,000.
Today’s data is effectively an ‘unemployment-neutral’ report. Of course, if the Labor Department keeps up with its policy of not counting those who are no longer participating in the labor force then the unemployment rate could continue coming down.
JON C. OGG