The Labor Department has released its weekly jobless claims for the past week. The first caveat is that this was a holiday week for the 4th of July, and this came at the end of the week. Claims rose by 16,000 to 360,000. and the prior week was revised higher by 1,000 up to 344,000. Dow Jones was calling for the claims to be 335,000.
The long and short of the matter is that weekly jobless claims rose by more than the amount that economists were expecting them to fall. Equity futures remain sharply higher after the markets have decided to interpret Ben Bernanke’s comments yesterday and the FOMC minutes as a beacon that the Fed plans to keep rates and QE alive longer than what was feared just a couple of weeks ago.
Another measurement is the four-week average, which rose by 6,000 to 351,750 claims. Continuing claims, what we refer to as the army of the unemployed, rose by 24,000 to 2,977,000 but this is reported with a one-week lag.
Today’s news is unlikely to have much of a market impact, as we have had so much more macroeconomic data, including unemployment and payrolls in recent days.