Job losses higher than expected, although 4 week average is going in the right direction

Initial jobless claims were higher than forecasts, rising 12,000 to 465,000 in the week ending September 18th (the week that corresponds with the September employment survey period). The four-week average of claims, however, declined 3,250 to 463,250.

BOTTOM LINE

Though initial jobless claims were higher than expected in the September employment survey week, it is better to focus on the longer term trends rather than the week to week.  The four-week average of claims fell for the fourth straight week and the average level of initial claims thus far in September, at 458,000 is similar to the level of claims seen prior to the run-up in filings witnessed in August (which could have been related to unnecessary re-filings for those who had temporarily lost extended benefits before the legislation authorizing them was renewed in late July). Thus, there is a moderate gain in private payrolls in September and flat reading on total payrolls given weekly reports on temporary Census workers.

This is more of the same slowing of jobless claims.  We still are not in the territory that would indicate job creation, so, brace yourself for slow 1-3% growth instead of the 6-8% growth that we should be getting coming out of a recession. 

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