The U.S. Labor Department is out with its weekly jobless claims report from the prior week. We would note that weekly jobless claims have been a bit skewed because of a delay in California’s claims reporting, but the reports should be normalized now. Today’s report showed claims were down 23,000 to 369,000.
Bloomberg was calling for a reading of 372,000 and Dow Jones was calling for 365,000 on the weekly claims. In short, this was right in between the two consensus reports. We also saw a revision in the prior week’s report to 392,000 from 388,000 previously reported.
To smooth out the weekly readings, the four-week average came in with a gain of 1,500 to 368,000. The army of unemployed, measured by the continuing claims with a one-week lag, came down by only 2,000 to a new level of 3.254 million.
Yesterday was the FOMC statement, and right now the markets are only reacting to large changes in these weekly reports. That being said, investors are still trying to get their hands around that mysterious drop in unemployment to 7.8% in September from 8.1% in August.
JON C. OGG