Last week’s first solid reading on the weekly jobless claims reading is being confirmed this Thursday. The Labor Department has announced that weekly jobless fell by 5,000 in the past week to some 330,000.
Dow Jones and Bloomberg were both calling for as much as 360,000 as the consensus target. Bloomberg had a range of 328,000 to 375,000. Last week’s reading of 335,000 was left static, rather than facing any serious revisions higher as we have seen before.
As far as why this matters, the prior week’s report was a drop of 37,000 to 335,000 and Wall St. has simple enough logic here. If a number is very low once, it is a one-off or anomaly. If it happens twice in a row, then that is a trend.
The reading of 330,000 is not going to handily change the unemployment rate, nor will it get the unemployment rate down to that 6.5% target by the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) any time soon. On the flip side, a low rate of weekly claims and layoffs will make a huge difference if the monthly payroll numbers can start to increase again.