Solid Weekly Jobless Claims Report From the Labor Department

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The U.S. Labor Department has released its weekly jobless claims. Frankly, the market already had a stellar unemployment and payrolls report last week, and this data was covering the Fourth of July week. That means that the number would have had to have been way off estimates to move the needle either way.

Weekly jobless claims fell 11,000 in the July 5 week to 304,000. Bloomberg was calling for the number to be flat at 315,000. The number may seem much better, but again it is considered a slight beat in rounding terms.

Also falling was the four-week average, down some 3,500 to 311,500. Continuing claims, what we call the army of the unemployed and reported with a one-week lag, managed to rise by 10,000 to 2.584 million. Still, its four-week average was down 8,000 to a post-recovery low of 2.571 million.

The unemployment rate for insured workers was unchanged last week at 2.0%.

While no unusual factors altered this report very much, the Labor Department did signal that the July 4 holiday will remain a factor, as will the annual auto sector retooling.

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