Reported new jobless claims last week fall by a much bigger number than expected – 52,000 vs. 4,000 – bringing the four-week average for the month to 606,000, lower by 10,000. This is the lowest level for the year. This comes amid worse than expected unemployment numbers released last week, which brought unemployment rate to 9.5 % – the highest since 1983.
The drop in jobless claims however should not be taken completely positively. There are still some factors that might bring this again higher, such as the bankruptcy of automakers. The WSJ adds:
Weekly figures tend to be quite volatile this time of year as government statisticians try to predict the timing of annual layoffs at auto and other manufacturing plants, leading to choppy swings in the seasonally-adjusted data that could be reversed in coming weeks.