2014 Economic Calendar
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Jobless Claims  
Released On 10/2/2014 8:30:00 AM For wk9/27, 2014
PriorPrior RevisedConsensusConsensus RangeActual
New Claims - Level293 K295 K297 K285 K to 311 K287 K
4-week Moving Average - Level298.50 K299.00 K294.75 K
New Claims - Change12 K14 K-8 K

There are fewer and fewer workers drawing unemployment benefits which points solidly at improvement underway in the labor market. Initial claims fell 8,000 in the September 27 week to 287,000, pulling down the 4-week average by a sizable 4,250 to 294,750 which is nearly 10,000 below the month-ago comparison.

Continuing claims confirm the improvement. In data that lag by a week, continuing claims for the September 20 week fell 45,000 to a new recovery low of 2.398 million with the 4-week average down 20,000 to a new recovery low of 2.441 million. The unemployment rate for insured workers remains at a recovery low of 1.8 percent.

There are no special factors in today's report, one that should firm confidence in strength for tomorrow's employment report.

Consensus Outlook
Initial jobless claims rose 12,000 in the September 20 week but followed only a slightly upward revised 35,000 plunge in the prior week which, importantly, was the sample week for the government's monthly employment report. The 4-week average was down 1,250 against both the prior week and the month-ago week.

The latest for continuing claims, which lag by a week and which in the latest data match the sample week for the September employment report, rose 7,000 to 2.439 million, but the 4-week average was down a very sizable 23,000 to 2.460 million and a new recovery low.

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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