Initial Jobless Claims totaled a disappointing 484k, 19k higher than expected and up from 482k last week. To smooth out the seasonal adjustment problems in July this year because some auto plants shut down and others didn’t, the 4 week average moved to 474k, the highest since Feb. Continuing Claims, up to 26 weeks, fell by 118k but Extended Benefits rose a net 1.33mm in response to the government’s extension of unemployment insurance, in some states back to 99 weeks, where those that temporarily fell off were able to come right back. Bottom line, seasonal distortions or not, initial claims are still too high and point to a still lame labor market.
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