2011 Economic Calendar
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Jobless Claims  
Released On 4/7/2011 8:30:00 AM For wk4/2, 2011
PriorPrior RevisedConsensusConsensus RangeActual
New Claims - Level388 K385 K380 K to 390 K382 K
4-week Moving Average - Level394.25 K395.25 K389.50 K

Jobless filings are moving lower one step at a time with initial claims at 382,000 in the April 2 week vs 392,000 in the prior week (revised from 388,000). The four-week average of 389,500 is down more than 5,000 from a month ago. Continuing claims edged lower in the March 26 week, to a four-week average of 3.746 million with the month-ago comparison showing a 100,000 decline. Unadjusted data show 8.52 million claiming benefits during the March 19 week, down nearly 250,000 from the prior week.

Claims trends point to labor demand as businesses gear up to meet orders. A wildcard for future reports is Japanese supply disruptions and whether they will affect US jobs. Markets are showing little reaction to today's report.

Consensus Outlook
Initial jobless claims in the March 26 week declined 6,000 to 388,000. The latest four-week average with a 3,250 increase to 394,250 was little changed. Continuing claims fell 51,000 in data for the March 19 week although it is likely that a sizeable portion of the decline is due to expiration of benefits.

New unemployment claims are compiled weekly to show the number of individuals who filed for unemployment insurance for the first time. An increasing (decreasing) trend suggests a deteriorating (improving) labor market. The four-week moving average of new claims smooths out weekly volatility.  Why Investors Care
Weekly series fluctuate more dramatically than monthly series even when the series are adjusted for seasonal variation. The 4-week moving average gives a better perspective on the underlying trend.
Data Source: Haver Analytics

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