Thursday, June 12, 2008

Initial Jobless Claims

The number of people filing for first time unemployment benefits rose sharply in the week ending June 7th, according to the Labor Department. Claims jumped by 25,000, to 384,000. Economists were expecting 365,000 new claims for the week.

Having witnessed extremely volatile measurements in the past few weeks, it is wise to consider the four-week moving average of initial claims, which smooths out one-time factors such as bad weather or holidays. The four-week moving average was also higher, by 2,500 in the latest week, up to 371,500. A year ago, the four-week average stood at 305,000.

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