Weekly Jobless Claims Move Back In Wrong Direction

The U.S. Labor Department is out with its reading on weekly jobless claims.  After some improvements in the weeks before, the tally of claims rose by 15,000 to 381,000.  Bloomberg had estimates at 372,000 and the range was 370,000 to 382,000 for the week. The reading from the prior week was revised from 364,000 to 366,000.

Another key metric to watch is the army of unemployed, measured by continuing claims.  There is a one week lag in that data, but the figure rose by 34,000 to 3,601,000 for the week.

The market is not likely to react sharply to this report one way or the other.  It is a but of a disappointment, but it is also on the heels of three weeks of improved data.  It is also still under the 400,000 mark.

Another issue to consider is that this is the next to last report of data from the Labor Department that will be used to compile estimates next week for the December unemployment report.