Weekly Jobless Claims Rise More Than Expected

Thursday’s barrage of economic data included a gain in weekly jobless claims. The U.S. Department of Labor reported that weekly claims rose by 13,000 to 277,000 in the week ending June 11. Bloomberg was calling for 270,000, with an Econoday range of 262,000 to 270,000, and Dow Jones (Wall Street Journal) was calling for 269,000.

The prior week’s report was left unrevised at 264,000. As we have been used to seeing over and over, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said that no special factors in this report skewed the numbers.

The four-week average, which aims to smooth out the weekly volatility, was down by some 2,500 to 269,250. As this was under a month ago, it may actually bode well for June payrolls, if that holds steady.

Continuing claims, reported with a one-week lag, managed to post a rather large gain of 45,000, up to 2.157 million for the week of June 4. The unemployment rate for insured workers rose by 0.1% to 1.6%, up but is still deemed rather muted.

With Wednesday having brought a decision by the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) not to raise interest rates, and with the unemployment rate for June not being released for another 15 days, Thursday’s uptick in weekly jobless claims is likely to generated a very muted market response (if any at all).