The latest weekly reading of initial jobless claims is out.
Claims unexpectedly fell to 332k from 342k a week ago.
Economists expected claims to rise slightly to 350k.
Last week’s claims were revised up slightly from 340k.
The 4-week moving average has now fallen to 346k, down from 349k a week ago.
Calculated Risk’s Bill McBride notes this is the lowest level since March 2008.
This is particularly surprising considering that the sequestration budget cuts began on March 1. The current jobless claims report cover the week ending March 9.
“The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending March 2 were in California (+11,720), New York (+7,900), Missouri (+2,722), Kansas (+1,419), and Washington (+813), while the largest decreases were in Massachusetts (-4,193), North Carolina (-1,146), Connecticut (-913), Michigan (-909), and Florida (-726),” wrote the Department of labour.
Here’s a look at the 4-week moving average courtesy of McBride:
Photo: Calculated Risk
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