Unemployment Claims higher than expected, Empire State Survey

Initial jobless claims were significantly higher than expected, rising 24,000 to 484,000 in the week ending April 10th. The Labor Department noted that jobless claims are usually volatile around Easter and stated that the rise in initial claims was due more to administrative reasons. The four-week average of claims increased 7,500 to 457,750.

BOTTOM LINE: Given that the Labor Department stated the rise in initial claims was due more to administrative factors, it is difficult to read too much in this week’s data (however, administrative backlogs suggest that the level of claims in late March was higher than previously thought). The employment subindex of the Empire State survey does not suggest that labor market conditions have weakened in early April. Next week brings initial claims for the April employment survey period.
The New York Fed’s Empire State index was much stronger than expected, rising to 31.9 in April from 22.9 in March. Also, the six-month outlook index rose to 55.7 from 54.3. The subindexes of the survey corroborated the improvement indicated by the headline index.

BOTTOM LINE: This is obviously a very robust reading on manufacturing activity in early April and we are particularly encouraged by the strength in employment and orders. Today brings other key manufacturing data with the March industrial production report and April Philadelphia Fed survey.
Source RDQ


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