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Weekly Jobless Claims Supposedly Now Fixed, and Much Better Than Expected

Jon C. Ogg

The U.S. Labor Department's reading on weekly jobless claims is better than expected, and we do not even (supposedly) have the two missing states from the report to point to this time. Weekly jobless claims were down 5,000 to 305,000 on a seasonally adjusted basis. Dow Jones and Bloomberg were both calling for 330,000 in the past week.

The claims from a week earlier were revised higher to 310,000 from 309,000, and the data from the prior weeks now supposedly have been brought up to date. The two states were finally identified as California and Nevada.

We would point out something that flies against the trends we see reported, something that gives us some pause. The continuing jobless, the so-called army of unemployed and with a one-week lag, somehow managed to rise by 35,000 to 2,823,000.

When the Labor Department is late or is missing data, investors have to remember that this has been the case from administration to administration. It turns out that, in retrospect, the Labor Department often is about as accurate as your local weatherman.