Initial Jobless Claims showed a much better than expected improvement totaling 388k, 27k below forecasts and is at the lowest since July ’08. While the last two weeks of the year are impacted by the holidays, the Labor Dept said there were no unusual impacts seen and thus believes the seasonal adjustments were accurate. We’ll know for sure in Jan but if so, the state of the labor market continues to get better in terms of firings and we’ll see next week’s Dec payroll figure to gauge net hiring’s. The 4 week average fell to 414k from 427k. Continuing Claims, delayed by 1 week, rose by 57k but Extended Benefits, delayed by 2, fell a net 151k.
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