Initial claims spiked to 360,000 for the week ended May 11, above economists' estimate for 330,000 and the previous week's 328,000 figure, which was revised up from 323,000.
Continuing claims fell to 3.009 million in the week ended May 4 from an upwardly-revised 3.013 million the week before.
Miller Tabak Chief Economic Strategist Andrew Wilkinson commented on the data in an email to clients following the release:
The jump in initial weekly jobless claims to 360,000 is out of the blue, especially since we felt that the blue-patch for the labor market was confined to March and early April. Weekly claims had been projected to rise by 7k to 330k, but in the event surged by 32k to a six-week high of 360k.
The Labor Department said that no states provided explanations for the increase and that it did not have to estimate data for any states. At this point, we have to say that while disappointed, this reading is simply one data point and we have learned over time to expect outliers running against the bigger trend once in a while. We should also point out that although the Empire State reading was poor yesterday, the labor component still signified advancing health for the labor market.
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