Initial Jobless Claims totaled 456k, 6k above expectations and last week was revised up by 6k to 459k. This level remains very elevated at this point in the economic cycle and still points to a still sluggish labor market. There was however a sharp drop in Continuing Claims by 255k to a much lower than expected 4.462k, the lowest since Dec ’08 but Extended Benefits rose a net 80k. The Continuing Claims drop also comes after a rise of 82k in the prior week. The Labor Dept can’t explain the sharp drop in Continuing Claims and we’ll have to wait a few weeks to see if the delay in passing an extension of unemployment benefits had any impact or hopefully people found jobs as the reason for the drop.
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