The Labor Department is out with its weekly jobless claims as the last formal report ahead of Friday’s key unemployment and nonfarm payrolls data. Last week we saw a gain of 4,000 jobs 367,000 after the prior week was revised to 363,000 from 359,000. Bloomberg and Dow Jones were both calling for 370,000 in the last week.
Two other measurements were released as well. To smooth out the numbers, the four-week average was flat at 375,000. Continuing jobless claims, the army of unemployed, was also flat at 3,281,000.
All in all, today’s report was just not enough to change the expectations for tomorrow and nor will it move the market in any major way.
Friday will be the day to watch news from the Labor Department. Bloomberg is looking for the following: 8.1% unemployment (flat), 113,000 in nonfarm payrolls and 130,000 in private sector payrolls.
Yesterday’s ADP payrolls data was better than expected, but it did not exactly move the barometer of expectations after having been way off of estimates a month ago.
JON C. OGG