By: SEI Investment Management Unit
After 17 consecutive weeks of claims registering north of 400,000, this week’s number finally fell below that psychological mark while also setting a four-month low. Hopefully, this is the start of a new trend. With the market in need of positive data to at least partially offset recent negative developments, the claims number was welcomed by investors.
The four–week moving average, which is less volatile, fell to 405,000 from 408,250 the prior week. This is the preferred measure, as it smoothes weekly volatility and provides a better gauge of the labor environment. Individuals continuing to collect benefits fell by 60,000 to 3,688,000 for the week ending July 30. This statistic lags initial claims by one week.
With all of the recent market volatility, we need the recent good news from the labor front to keep coming. At this point, SEI continues to believe that the U.S. economy will not fall into a recession, and remains cautiously optimistic that moderate economic growth will pick up throughout the remainder of 2011.
Read the complete report – Economic Insights_Weekly Jobless Report