Initial Jobless Claims totaled 614k, 1k less than expected but the prior month was revised up by 3k to 630k. Continuing Claims fell by 53k from last week and was 38k less than expected. There has been a big discussion of late over the expiration of unemployment insurance and how the recent drop in Continuing Claims is due to people losing it rather than finding a new job. While there is no question benefits are expiring without one finding a job, as evidenced by the rising exhaustion rate, many losing those benefits now started getting them when initial claims were running in the 400k range last summer. Now its running above 600k, so there are still more people filing initial claims than getting removed from the continuing claims data, thus continuing claims still should trend higher assuming no sudden change in hiring trends.
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