The US Labor Department’s reading on weekly jobless claims rose by 24,000 to 399,000 and there was a revised higher figure. The prior week’s 373,000 was revised higher to 375,000. Some of the claims here are obviously seasonal, but this is a step in the wrong direction after weeks and weeks of improvements showing that the figures were coming in well under the 400,000 mark. Bloomberg was expecting a reading of 375,000.
The four-week moving average of weekly claims aims to smooth out the weekly swings and that figure rose by 7,750 to 381,750.
Also on the rise, with a one-week lag, was the army of unemployed measured by the continuing jobless claims and that rose by a sum of 19,000 claims to 3,628,000.
Today’s news was a move in the wrong direction, even if some cyclical theme can be attributed here. We had been getting more and more used to weeks of sub-400,000 and this gets almost back to that level.
JON C. OGG