Initial Jobless Claims
Initial Jobless Claims for the week ending November 11 (as reported on November 17):
• Jobless benefits fell 5,000 to 388,000, beating consensus estimates of a rise to 395,000.
• Jobless benefits are at their lowest level since April 1.
• Last week's figure was revised higher, from 390,000 to 393,000.
• 4-week moving average is 396,750 – down from last week's 400,750.
• 4-week moving average is at its lowest level since April 8.
• Continuing claims fell 57,000 to 3.61 million, the lowest level since September 2008.
• Unemployment rate among those eligible for benefits remained at 2.9%.
COMMENTARY: U.S. economic data over the past six weeks not only suggests that forecasts for a second recession are incorrect but also that risks are to the upside for U.S. GDP. In addition, as controversial as this may sound, I am placing the U.S. labor market on alert for a potential upgrade in the first four months of 2012. There is some evidence that suggests potential improvement may be budding.
Please understand, I am not placing “an upturn” in my expectation column just yet. But, at the very least, it is time for investors to once again begin to actively monitor this weekly report.
Initial Jobless Claims, 11/19/10 to 11/11/11
Initial Jobless Claims 4-Week Moving Average, 11/19/10 to 11/11/11
Continuing Jobless Claims, 11/19/10 to 11/11/11