Weekly Jobless Claims Fail to Enthuse, Unemployment and Payrolls on Deck

The U.S. Labor Department is out with its weekly jobless claims report, the last real employment data ahead of Friday’s key unemployment and payrolls report.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics said weekly claims fell by 11,000 to 346,000 in the past week. Dow Jones and Bloomberg were both calling for 345,000, so this number is not going to create much of a stir. The prior week’s reading was revised slightly higher to 357,000 from 354,000.

We already saw on Wednesday that both TrimTabs and ADP really took away any great expectations from the payrolls data for Friday.

Today’s Labor Department report showed that the four-week average, which smooths out the weekly volatility, rose by 4,500 to 352,500. The army of unemployed, measured with a one-week lag, of the continuing claims fell by some 52,000 to 2,952,000. Again, this should not have a direct impact on the unemployment and payrolls expectations.

That being said, our take is that the weak ADP and TrimTabs reports will both lower expectations on the total payrolls and private sector payrolls. The estimates from Bloomberg for Friday are as follows:

  • Unemployment flat at 7.5%
  • Non-farm payrolls of 167,000
  • Private sector payrolls at 178,000
  • Hourly earnings up 0.2%
  • Average workweek of 34.5 hours

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