Initial jobless claims spiked upward to 368,000.

Consensus was for 320,000.

And that’s up from a revised 300,000 last week.

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TD Securities’ Gennadiy Goldberg commented:

“The large increase can largely be attributed to strong seasonal factors influencing the data, however, and we recommend fully discounting the latest week’s data as it obscures the ‘true’ trend in claims, which we see in the 315K-335K range. The impact of sizeable seasonal adjustment factors will continue to obscure the underlying trend in claims over the coming weeks, making it quite unlikely that we see a “clean” claims print until late-January.”

Deutsche Bank’s Joe LaVorgna Tweeted the same:

That revision erased the “2-handle” we got from an initial estimate of 298,000 last week, the first time we’d seen a sub-300,000 print since September.

The four-week moving average was 328,750, an increase of 6,000 from a revised 322,750.

Continuing claims also bumped higher, to 2,791,000, versus a revised 2,751,000 last week and consensus 2,757,000.

“The broader trend in continuing claims has been one of gradual decline,” Goldberg said. “It is also worth noting that emergency benefits hit a post-crisis low in the latest week, falling to 1249K from 1351K; we believe that while some of the improvement can be partially attributed to long — term unemployed workers finding jobs, a large portion of the decline is likely the byproduct of worker attrition from the labour force. We expect this series to be closely watched over the coming months as government funding for emergency claims benefits is set to expire at the end of 2013.”

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