For the 2nd week in a row Initial Jobless Claims jumped more than expected. Last week we could say maybe it was Good Friday but this week we can’t. Initial Claims totaled 386k, 16k more than expected and last week was revised up by 8k to 388k, the highest since the 1st week of Jan. The 4 week average moved up to 375k from 369k, the most since late Jan. Continuing Claims rose by 26k but Extended Benefits fell by a net 20k. Bottom line the last two weeks reflect a reversal of the slow but steady drop in the amount of those filing for unemployment insurance that we’ve been seeing since Nov. It’s only two weeks so way too early to declare a fresh deterioration but it definitely bears watching because if the pace of firing’s start to pick up again, it certainly says something about what the pace of hiring’s will be.
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