Hopes of an improvement in the employment outlook were diminished this morning when initial jobless claims came in higher than expected (386K vs 375K). This represents the third straight week that claims have been above 380K, making the readings in the 360Ks from earlier this year seem like more of an anomaly than a trend.
As a result of the recent elevated readings, the four week moving average has now risen to 382K, which is the highest reading since April.
On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, initial claims rose to 374K this week. What makes this week's reading unique is that it was the first time in recent memory that the current reading was above the average for similar weeks between 2000 and 2012.
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