Thursday, March 31, 2011

U.S. Initial Jobless Claims Fall in the Latest Week

Initial unemployment insurance claims fell 6,000 to 388,000 for the
week ending March 26, 2011, more than reversing the previous week's
4,000 increase to an upwardly revised 394,000 level (initially
reported as 382,000). The level of claims in the latest week came in
slightly above market expectations for a 380,000 level. Upward
revisions to previous weeks largely reflected revisions to
seasonal-adjustment factors back to 2006. The four-week moving average
of initial claims, which normally provides a better indication of the
underlying trend in labour markets, rose to 394,250 from 391,000 the
previous week but remained below the 400,000 level for a fifth
consecutive week. Continuing claims (for the week ending March 19,
2011) fell 51,000 to 3,714,000 from 3,765,000 last week.

Despite the tick up in the four-week moving average of initial claims
in the latest week, the measure remained below the 400,000 level for a
fifth consecutive week, leaving the encouraging downward trend that
has been evident in the data in recent months broadly intact.
Today's report will likely have a limited effect on expectations
ahead of tomorrow's March employment report given that the payroll
employment survey was conducted earlier in the month (the payroll
survey is conducted in the week containing the twelfth day of the
month); however, the drop in the four-week moving average of initial
claims from 388,500 in the March survey week from 419,500 in February
is consistent with our expectation for employment to continue to
increase in the month. We expect tomorrow's payroll employment
report will show a 180,000 gain in private employment in March
although continued weakness in hiring by state and local governments
will limit the gain in overall payrolls to 168,000. This represents a
slight moderation from the 222,000 and 192,000 gains in private and
public employment, respectively, in February, reflecting the view that
the February employment report was boosted by a weather-related
rebound from depressed January levels that we do not expect to be
repeated in March.

Source: ActionForex.Com

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