The U.S. Labor Department has released the latest report of weekly jobless claims. After the claims had been trending in the wrong direction in prior weeks, this preliminary claims report came out at 382,000. Bloomberg had estimates of 373,000 and a range of 365,000 to 390,000 from its pool of economists surveyed. Dow Jones also was looking for about 373,000 jobless claims.
Another note was the revisions from last week’s report. The prior report was 382,000 and the revision was raised to 385,000, but that figure still reflects some claims around Hurricane Isaac.
Two other items are the four-week average to smooth out the weekly data and also the army of unemployed measured by the continuing claims, with a one week lag. The four-week average rose 2,000 to 377,750 and the continuing claims fell by 32,000 to 3.272 million.
Bloomberg’s definition: New unemployment claims are compiled weekly to show the number of individuals who filed for unemployment insurance for the first time. An increasing (decreasing) trend suggests a deteriorating (improving) labor market. The four-week moving average of new claims smooths out weekly volatility.
JON C. OGG