Thursday, January 27, 2011

Claims bounce but still reflect improvement

Weekly claims for unemployment last week rose 50K more than expected, but I don't think that is a concern. Before seasonal adjustment, claims actually fell by 68K, so what this means is that claims didn't fall by as much as the seasonal factors expected. That's the flip side of what was happening near the end of last year, when claims weren't rising as much as expected. Now the dust is settling, and the picture that emerges is one in which unemployment claims have definitely moved lower, but not hugely. It's still a sluggish labor market, but the outlook is gradually improving.

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