2013 Economic Calendar
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Jobless Claims  
Released On 3/14/2013 8:30:00 AM For wk3/9, 2013
PriorPrior RevisedConsensusConsensus RangeActual
New Claims - Level340 K342 K350 K335 K to 355 K332 K
4-week Moving Average - Level348.75 K349.50 K346.75 K
New Claims - Change-7 K-5 K-10 K

Initial jobless claims fell 10,000 in the March 9 week to 332,000 which indicates much more improvement in the labor market than Econoday's consensus for 350,000. The week's total is the second lowest of the recovery. There are no special factors skewing today's report.

The four-week average is now at its lowest level of the recovery, down 2,750 from the prior week to a 346,750 level that is a bit below the 350,000 trend of the month-ago comparison in what is an early positive indication for the March employment report.

Continuing claims are also moving lower, down 89,000 in data for the March 2 week to 3.024 million which is another recovery low as is the 4-week average at 3.098 million. The unemployment rate for insured workers is unchanged at a recovery low of 2.4 percent.

Strength in the labor market would explain ongoing signs of strength in other economic data, especially yesterday's retail sales report. Today's report is a major positive for today's session.

Consensus Outlook
Initial jobless claims fell 7,000 in the March 2 week to 340,000. The four-week average, down 7,000 to 348,750, is at its lowest level since March 2008. The average is also slightly lower than the month-ago comparison which points to improvement in the labor market. Continuing claims are also at a recovery low, at least the four-week average which is down 37,000 to 3.122 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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