Initial Jobless Claims totaled 457k, a touch below expectations of 460k but last week was revised up by 4k to 468k. GM not shutting auto plants as is typical this time of the year is still a distortion but it is surprising that claims aren’t lower because of it and thus current levels still remain a concern at this stage of an economic recovery. The 4 week average, which helps to smooth out the data, fell to 453k from 457k. Continuing Claims rose by 81k and were 65k above the forecast. Extended Benefits, delayed by 2 weeks, fell a net 269k and are still being influenced by the lack of benefit extension legislation at the time which should reverse in the next week or two as it’s since passed.
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