Jobless Claims

February 28th, 2008 7:00 am | by John Jansen |

 The weekly jobless claims report was less than festive as claims jumped to 373K (consensus 350K) from 349K in the prior week.The four week moving average declined to 360.5K from 361.75K as the 378k print in late January dropped out of the calculation. The 373K of new filers is troublesome new evidence that the economy is in recession or poised perilously close to the precipice. When the 378k number was reported in January some explained or rationalized that the Martin Luther King holiday might have contributed to a funky reading and others sought refuge in the ubiquitous faulty seasonal excuse. This week’s number seems rather pristine and should make more vociferous the claim that we are in an outright contraction.

Continuing claims remain in an upswing too as they spiked to 2807K. If one excludes the period associated with Hurricane Katrina ,then this is the highest level for this series since late September 2004.

JJJ

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