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Last Week's Rise In Jobless Claims Is Good News...Really

US jobless claims climbed 11,000 last week, which is no trivial amount. But this is bullish news. Why? Because the previous week’s extraordinary decline—down 42,000 for the week through Jan. 24 in today’s revision—was only moderately pared back. The thinking last week was that the shortened Martin Luther King holiday skewed the data, which inspired forecasts that today’s number would pop sharply higher in a bout of payback. The consensus forecast called a hefty gain today, with claims projected to rise to 290,000. But as today’s release shows, quite a lot of the recent slide remains intact in today’s report. The news translates to a bullish update for anticipating the near-term outlook for the labor market, starting with tomorrow’s official payrolls report from Washington.

New filings for unemployment benefits rose last week to a seasonally adjusted 278,000. But that’s still close to a 15-year low. The weekly figures can be… Read More …