Weekly Jobless Claims Previews Unemployment & Payrolls Data Ahead of Friday

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The Labor Department is out with its report on weekly jobless claims and it is looking like the weekly claims will be heading back in the right direction if today’s reading is not just a blip.

Weekly jobless claims came in at -27,000 to 365,000 and that is a better trend than we had been seeing in recent weeks. Bloomberg had estimates of 378,000.  The report from last week was revised to  from a preliminary report of 388,000 up to 392,000.

A smoothing measure is the four-week average rose by only 750 jobs to 383,500.  The army of unemployed is measured by the continuing claims, with a one-week lag, and that was shown to have decreased by 53,000 down to 3.276 million.

Investors have worried about the non-farm payrolls data for Friday’s unemployment report since both the TrimTabs and ADP preliminary data have indicated much weaker than expected jobs creation.  The unemployment rate is expected to remain static at 8.2% due to poor ‘workforce participation rates.’

Friday may be given a bit of a reprieve based on today’s weekly claims but the underlying fear is that the numbers could come in far less than what had been expectations of 180,000 or so in new job creations expected earlier in the week.  This is also the last report before the college graduates are out interviewing in May for their first job out of college.

JON C. OGG

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