The May and April employment reports were flat and disappointing which is the outlook for the June report as well based on month-to-date jobless claim data that are showing no improvement. Initial claims in the June 16 week came in at 387,000 which is 4,000 higher than the Econoday consensus. The prior week is revised 3,000 higher to 389,000. Convincingly underscoring the lack of improvement is the 4-week average which shows a fourth straight increase with a 3,500 gain to 386,250 (prior revised to 382,750). The June 16 week was the survey week for the monthly employment report and a comparison between it and the month-ago survey week shows a 15,000 increase. This is a reading that will depress forecasts for June employment data.
Another indication that the jobs market isn't improving is flattening in continuing claims which until April had been on a steep downtrend. Continuing claims in data for the June 9 week are unchanged at 3.299 million with the 4-week average up 5,000 to 3.294 million. The unemployment rate for insured employees, at 2.6 percent, has been steady at a recovery low for the last four months.
The May employment report released at the beginning of this month set the tone for what has been a flat series of economic reports. Now, weekly jobless claims data are pointing to trouble for the June employment report.
Market Consensus before announcement
Initial jobless claims rose 6,000 in the June 9 week to a 386,000 level. And the prior week was revised to 380,000 which is 3,000 higher than the initial estimate. The four-week average was up three times in a row with a 3,500 gain to 382,000 in the latest week.