Initial jobless claims rose to 312,000.
Expectations were for claims to rise to 310,000 from last week’s 300,000.
Continuing claims fell further to 2,603,000.
Expectations were for continuing claims to fall to 2,625,000. Last week continuing claims fell to 2,631,000, the lowest reading since 2007.
But despite the weekly rise in jobless claims, Pantheon Macroeconomics’ Ian Shepherdson notes that the four-week average is now at 310,250, the lowest level since June 2007.
“The key point here is that the trend is downwards, with the four-week average now at 310.25K, its lowest since June 07 — before the recession, which began in Dec — and the smoother eight-week average is at 318K. At the turn of this year, the underlying trend was about
340K, so drop since then is consistent with monthly payroll gro
wth accelerating by as much as 50K. That hasn’t happened yet, and we don’t expect a blockbuster number tomorrow, but the claims data suggest sustained better payrolls are in the pipeline.”
Following the initial claims report, Cooper Howes at Barclays affirmed his view that nonfarm payrolls will rise 225,000 tomorrow with the unemployment rate reamining unchanged at 6.3%.
This chart from Barclays shows the decline in continuing claims since last 2007.