Initial jobless claims rise more than expected

Initial jobless claims rose 297,000 last week, the highest since the week of February 28.

Economists had estimated that claims for unemployment insurance totaled 275,000 last week, down from 282,000 in the previous period, according to Bloomberg.

The prior period’s tally was revised up by 1,000.

In a note to clients after the data, Pantheon Macroeconomics’ Ian Shepherdson wrote: “In one line: Seasonal chaos begins; expect more volatility for the next couple of weeks.”

He continued, “claims likely have been boosted by seasonal adjustment problems triggered by the July 4 holiday and the start of the annual auto retooling shutdowns. These happen every year but the timing and extent of the shutdowns changes and the seasonals can’t cope. We have no reason at all to think that the underlying trend in claims has changed and once the shutdowns are over we’d expect claims to revert to 280K or so.”

Here’s the latest chart of the trend in claims, via Shepherdson.

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