The U.S. Labor Department is back open and is dribbling out its economic reports again. Thursday morning’s report was on weekly jobless claims, and the figure came in as a drop of 12,000 to 350,000 for the last week. Dow Jones was calling for 340,000, and Bloomberg was a tad lower as it expected 335,000.
The prior weekly report was revised slightly higher to 362,000 from a preliminary report of 358,000. To show a smoothing of the figures, the four-week average of jobless claims rose 10,750 in the past week, up to 348,250.
Another measurement comes with a one-week lag, and this is the continuing jobless claims. We refer to this as the army of the unemployed, and this figure fell by 8,000 to 2,874,000.
We maintain that the markets should not be reacting to these numbers too much because the closure of the federal government may have skewed reports, and that has now been resolved for another three months or so. This report was also too close to the estimates to have much of an impact, even if the economic reports had been coming out normally in recent weeks.