Weekly Jobless Claims Looking Better, and Normalized

US_Dept_of_LaborThe U.S. Labor Department may be delaying its unemployment report a few days late after the federal government shutdown, but we are still getting to see the weekly jobless claims reports. Weekly jobless claims fell by 10,000 in the past week to 340,000, and the prior week's report of 350,000 was unrevised.

Investors, traders and market observers use the weekly jobless claims as one of the barometers for predicting nonfarm payrolls and the unemployment rate, and this is the next to last such weekly report before the unemployment report will come out for October.

Dow Jones and Bloomberg both had the consensus estimate from economists at 335,000. It also looks as though California's computer system upgrade or change finally has taken full effect, as the numbers from that state are now normalized do not include carryover reports.

A smoothing measurement is available each week in the four-week average. This was shown to be a gain of 8,000 to 356,250.

Continuing claims are reported with a one-week lag, and these are what we consider to be the army of the unemployed. That figure rose by some 31,000 to 2,881,000.

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