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Initial Jobless Claims

04/24/2011

Four critical points from the April 21st Initial Jobless Claims report:

  • Estimates for a decline from last week's 416,000 to 380,000 disappointed as the actual figure only fell 13,000 to 403,000
  • The four week moving average, on which I like to focus, rose from 396,800 to 399,000, the highest level since February 18
  • The prior week's reported figure of 412,000 was revised higher to 416,000
  • Keep in mind this weekly report is when the Labor Department surveys businesses for the calculation of the upcoming Jobs report on May 6th  (Flash Crash Anniversary)

COMMENTARY
An improvement in the overall U.S. labor market has been underway over the past six months. Given the data reported this week, investors must be on watch for the potential that the rate of overall labor market improvement may moderate. The upcoming May 6th Jobs report should provide further clarity.  However, I do not expect the upcoming Jobs report figures to exceed last month's figures. Estimates have been lowered as follows:

Headline              APRIL     +216,000             Consensus Estimate for MAY +170,000 to +195,000
Private                 APRIL    +230,000              Consensus Estimate for MAY +180,000 to +205,000
Rate                     APRIL          8.8%               Consensus Estimate for MAY unchanged at 8.8%

Initial Jobless Claims 5/4/07 - 4/21/11

Source: Bloomberg

Initial Jobless Claims 4 week moving average 2011

Source: Bloomberg

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