Firing continues in first sign of increasing job losses in months

Weekly unemployment claims rose by 27K to a much higher-than-expected total of 412,000 and the first plus 400,000 reading since early March (April 2 week revised 3,000 higher to 385,000). The Labor Department said effects tied to the beginning of a quarter may be behind the rise. Supply disruptions tied to Japan were not cited. The four-week average rose 5,500 to 395,750 for its highest reading since mid March.

Continuing claims in data for the April 2 week fell 58,000 to 3.680 million. The unemployment rate for insured workers slipped one tenth to 2.9 percent.

Today's report could be the first signal of trouble for April payrolls.  Via DOL:
In the week ending April 9, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 412,000, an increase of 27,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 385,000. The 4-week moving average was 395,750, an increase of 5,500 from the previous week's revised average of 390,250.

The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.9 percent for the week ending April 2, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point from the prior week's unrevised rate of 3.0 percent.

The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending April 2 was 3,680,000, a decrease of 58,000 from the preceding week's revised level of 3,738,000. The 4-week moving average was 3,728,750, a decrease of 20,750 from the preceding week's revised average of 3,749,500.

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