Initial Jobless Claims move below 450k

Initial Jobless Claims totaled 445k, 10k below expectations, down from 456k last week (revised up by 3k) and is at the lowest since early July. That July level was influenced by the July 4th holiday and disregarding that distortion, today’s figure is the lowest since late March. The 4 week average fell to 456k from 459k. Continuing Claims up to 26 weeks were 12k higher than expected but fell from a sharp upward revision to the prior week. Extended Benefits rose a net 257k and reverses almost completely the prior week’s drop of 294k. Bottom line, it’s great to see initial claims fall back below 450k and hopefully the moderating pace, albeit still too high, of firings will continue but the level of extended benefits still is evidence that the pace of hiring remains punk.

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