Initial jobless claims higher than expected

Initial jobless claims were higher than expected, rising 37,000 to 464,000 in the week ending July 17th (the week that corresponds with the July employment survey period). The four-week average of claims rose 1,250 to 456,000.

BOTTOM LINE

Looking through the volatility in July (which is the result of the changed pattern of auto shutdowns early in the month), the trend in initial jobless claims through the employment survey week is similar to the average level of claims reported in the second quarter, during which private payroll gains averaged 119,000 per month. These data are consistent, therefore, with another moderate increase in private employment in July, although Census employment should be a drag on total payrolls again in the month.

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