2016 Economic Calendar
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Jobless Claims  
Released On 6/9/2016 8:30:00 AM For wk6/4, 2016
PriorPrior RevisedConsensusConsensus RangeActual
New Claims - Level267 K268 K270 K262 K to 285 K264 K
4-week Moving Average - Level276.75 K277.00 K269.50 K
New Claims - Change-1 K0 K-4 K

The labor market is suddenly looking much better than it did as jobless claims data show across-the-board improvement. Initial claims fell 4,000 in the June 4 week to what is a very impressive and very low 264,000 level, in turn pulling down the 4-week average by 7,500 to 269,500. This is the third straight sub 270,000 level and makes a distant memory of the early May spike near 300,000.

The good news is backed up by similarly positive readings in continuing claims which fell a very sharp 77,000 in lagging data for the May 28 week. The 4-week average is down 18,000 to 2.145 million. The unemployment rate for insured workers is down 1 tenth to a new low of 1.5 percent.

There are no special factors in today's report which offers significant relief following last week's very weak employment report.

Consensus Outlook
Initial jobless claims rose sharply in late April and through mid-May but have edged back since, to 267,000 in the May 28 week with forecasters calling for 270,000 in the June 4 week. Still, trends in this report, though historically very favorable, have nevertheless been edging up including trends in continuing claims. The increases aside, claims during May never signaled the severe weakness seen in the monthly employment report. The Verizon strike of 37,000 workers, which was resolved in late May, has yet to be cited as a special factor in this series.

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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