Weekly Jobless Claims Hit Nine Month Low

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We already saw the rate cut from the European Central Bank this Thursday morning.  Now it is time for the U.S. Labor Department’s weekly announcement on jobless claims.  The report put the last week’s jobless claims down a sharp 23,000 to 381,000.  This marks the lowest reading in roughly nine months.

The figure compares to a revised figure from the prior week of 404,000 (compared to a preliminary figure of 402,000) and it compares to a Bloomberg consensus economist estimate of 395,000.

The four-week average was reported as being down by 3,000 to 393,250; and the army of unemployed measured by the continuing jobless claims (with a one-week lag) was reported as being lower by 174,000 to 3.583 million.

This report may still seem high, but it is finally a move in the right direction even if that unemployment rate of 8.6% in November just because of a “lower labor force participation rate” was a highly doctored figure.  The bias was expected to be another negative one this morning, but this is at least a move in the right direction. A nine month low is hard to argue against even if it is still not exactly a great figure.

JON C. OGG