Jobless Claims

Initial Jobless Claims totaled 550k, a large 30k less than expected and down from 588k last week. After the lumpiness in the July data due to the seasonal distortions of auto plant shutdowns that didn’t occur, today’s data is clean according to the Labor Dept. Continuing Claims though did rise by 69k and was 60k more than expected. Those that are getting extended benefits rose by 139k and the total now on Emergency Unemployment Compensation rose by 97k to a new high in this cycle. The insured unemployment rate remained unchanged at 4.7%. While the drop in initial claims is welcome as the pace of firing seems to be slowing, the other data points still point to a difficult hiring environment. Initial claims though do lead continuing claims and we’ll see how long the transition is between a slowdown in firing to a pickup in hiring.

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