Initial Jobless Claims disappoint

Initial Jobless Claims were higher than expected at 471k, 31k above estimates, up from 446k last week and the highest in 5 weeks. The 4 week average is now 454k vs 451k last week. Continuing Claims though fell by 40k and Extended Benefits fell a net 74k and hopefully the drop is due to people finding jobs rather than thru the exhaustion of benefits. Either way, the level of initial claims is definitely worrisome in terms of staying elevated in the mid 400k range. At this point in the economy cycle a break below 400k would have been more typical but it still remains clear that businesses, while adding workers (in many cases bringing back those fired) strategically, are still very reluctant to take the risks of hiring on a broader scale.

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