Labor Department Weekly Jobless Claims Remaining Low

179125086The U.S. Labor Department is out with its reading on weekly jobless claims. Applications for jobless benefits rose by 4,000 to a seasonally adjusted 302,000 for the week ending August 30. Dow Jones and Bloomberg both were calling for 300,000. The prior week's report of 298,000 was unchanged in its revision.

The four-week average rose by 3,000 to 302,750. Continuing claims, or the army of the unemployed (reported with a one-week lag each week), fell by a sharp 64,000 to 2,464,000 million. This is now at a low that has not been seen since 2007.

While the government's usual disclaimer of "There were no special factors impacting this week's initial claims" was made, we would note that this last week and this current week could have some noise around the weekly numbers due to the Labor Day holiday.

Thursday's Labor Department report comes with a mixed fanfare. It is not enough to sway the expectations for Friday's unemployment and payrolls report in either direction. The consensus estimates for Friday's report are as follows:

  • Bloomberg expects nonfarm payrolls estimate of 230,000 from a relatively soft July reading of 209,000; Dow Jones estimates of 225,000.
  • Bloomberg estimates the private sector payrolls of 220,000.
  • Bloomberg and Dow Jones both see the official unemployment rate at 6.1%, which would be slightly lower than July's 6.2% but would be identical to June.

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Filed under: Economy
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