2012 Economic Calendar
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Jobless Claims  
Released On 10/11/2012 8:30:00 AM For wk10/6, 2012
PriorPrior RevisedConsensusConsensus RangeActual
New Claims - Level367 K369 K370 K362 K to 375 K339 K
4-week Moving Average - Level375.00 K375.50 K364.00 K
New Claims - Change4 K6 K-30 K

Big improvement in jobless claims may be tied in part to the week's seasonal adjustment and will in any case have to be confirmed by improvement in subsequent weeks. Claims fell to 339,000 in the October 6 week for a 30,000 decline that's the biggest since July. The 339,000 level is the best reading of the recovery! The four-week average is down 11,500 to 364,000 and is now trending more than 10,000 below the month-ago comparison in what points to improvement for both payroll growth and the unemployment rate.

A possible issue skewing the number is the adjustment which expected a big swing for the first week of the quarter that didn't happen. Next week's report will help clear up this issue. Continuing claims continue to move lower, down 15,000 in data for the September 29 week to 3.273 million with the four-week average down 12,000 to 3.279 million. But the unemployment rate for insured workers isn't improving, holding at 2.6 percent where it's been since mid-March.

Consensus Outlook
Initial jobless claims edged back up 4,000 in the September 29 week to 367,000, following a 22,000 drop the prior week. The four-week average was unchanged for the week at 375,000 which was 3,000 to 4,000 thousand above late August. Continuing claims showed slight improvement from a month ago with the four-week average down another 13,000 to 3.285 million.

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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