Initial jobless claims came in last week at 377,000. That number will probably revised into the 380’s at some point, like the did the week before and the week before that, and so on. But the media got the positive headline they’ve been waiting for.
Fewer Americans applied for unemployment insurance payments last week, indicating limited progress in the labor market after a two-month slowdown in hiring.
First-time claims for jobless benefits fell by 12,000 to 377,000 in the week ended June 2 from a revised 389,000 the prior week that was higher than initially estimated, the Labor Department said today. The median estimate of 49 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for 378,000 claims. The number of people receiving extended payments plunged.
Don’t get out the cigars and champagne just yet. A little farther down in that same article is this news:
The four-week moving average of claims, a less-volatile measure, climbed to 377,750, the highest in a month, from 376,000.
Then there are the number who are no longer collecting.
But the most disturbing observation is that in one week alone, a whopping 104,600 people hit the 99-week cliff, and stopped collecting extended unemployment benefits, the most since December 2011, as those on EUCs dropped by -45,808 while those on Extended benefits dropped by a astounding -58,829. As a reminder, Zero Hedge first noted that shortly 700,000 people will no longer be collecting any unemployment benefits.
But I’m sure we’ll be told that this is evidence that the economy is moving in the right direction. Forward!