Initial Claims below 440k for 2nd week

Initial Jobless Claims were 2k less than expected at 439k but last week was revised up by 2k to 437k, so thus about in line, but to see two weeks in a row below 440k is definitely encouraging in terms of the level of firings. Continuing Claims were exactly in line with the estimate, falling by 48k to the lowest since Nov ’08. Extended Benefits rose a net 121k and the overall level still remains elevated and points to an economy that is creating jobs but not fast enough. Nov 30th is the expiration of the last extension of unemployment benefits and if it’s not extended it will create a short term disruption in the economy BUT there are 3mm job openings out there and hopefully will then get filled up.

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