2013 Economic Calendar
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Jobless Claims  
Released On 8/29/2013 8:30:00 AM For wk8/24, 2013
PriorPrior RevisedConsensusConsensus RangeActual
New Claims - Level336 K337 K330 K318 K to 335 K331 K
4-week Moving Average - Level330.50 K330.50 K331.25 K
New Claims - Change13 K15 K-6 K

Incremental declines in jobless claims may not point to new hiring but they do point to positive momentum in employment activity. Initial claims in the August 24 week fell 6,000 to 331,000 vs a revised 337,000 in the prior week. The 4-week average did rise slightly to 331,250 vs 330,500 in the prior week, but a comparison with the month-ago trend, which is useful for an indication on the monthly employment report, shows a roughly 10,000 decline.

Continuing jobless claims tell the same story, one of incremental improvement. Continuing claims in the latest data, which are for the August 17 week, show a 14,000 weekly decline to 2.989 million. The 4-week average is up slightly to 2.996 million but is down roughly 30,000 in the month-ago comparison. These levels are near recovery lows while the unemployment rate for insured workers is holding at a recovery low of 2.3 percent.

There are no special factors at play in this report, one that points to another steady employment report next week.

Consensus Outlook
Initial jobless claims for the August 17 week rose 13,000 to 336,000. The prior week was revised 3,000 higher to 323,000. The latest week is also the sample week for the monthly payroll employment and a comparison shows no change with the July 13 week, which was the sample week for the July employment report. Leading the positive indications was the 4-week average which, despite the rise in the latest week, was down 2,250 to a 330,500 level that is decidedly below levels in July.

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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