Initial unemployment claims marginally missed expectations this morning, falling by 6,000 individuals to 357,000, new data out of the Department of labour shows.
Economists polled by Bloomberg were looking for the headline number to decline slightly from last week’s reading of 359,000. That figure was revised higher to 363,000.
However the long-term unemployment picture continued to brighten, with 16,000 fewer Americans remaining on benefits. The total number of continuing claims fell to 3.338 million, below expectations for 3.35 million.
Pennsylvania, New Jersey, North Carolina and Massachusetts logged substantively fewer claims this week, than last, while Texas saw 4,185 more individuals filing for the first time this week.
The final data point feeding into most NFP forecasts is minutes away from release: initial unemployment claims.
Economists polled by Bloomberg forecast claims will decline by 4,000 this week to 355,000.
Estimates are closely range bound, with the 43 economists surveyed expecting a reading between 350,000 and 370,000.
Continuing claims, or claims for individuals remaining on unemployment benefits, are seen increasing by 10,000 people to 3.350 million.
The Department of labour will make its announcement at 8:30 a.m. Follow it live here >