Weekly Jobless Claims Obscured by Turkey & Bread Lines

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The weekly jobless claims just came out at a drop of 21,000 to 509,000.  Economists were looking for a roughly 540,000 who applied for benefits.  Last week’s initial report of 529,000 was also revised to 530,000.  While this is good news on the surface, last week was also a shortened week because of Thanksgiving and that can drastically throw off the numbers.

This will act as a prelude to the unemployment and non-farm payrollsdata to be released tomorrow morning, yet again that Thanksgiving holiday will obscure the data as many layoffs may have been put off by a week.  We also saw a 6,000 rise in the 4-week average to 524,5000.  One important notion here isthat the continuing jobless claims went up by 89,0000 to cross over the4 million mark at 4,087,000. This represents the highest number since1982.

Jon C. Ogg
December 4, 2008