Initial Claims and the Employment Report Tomorrow
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More good news for the labor market. Weekly initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell 6,000 to 357,000.  This continues a three year run of consistent improvement in the labor market (see chart).  Weekly claims are now at their lowest level since April 2008.  The 4-week moving average for claims fell to 362,000, also the lowest level in four years.  More news from the labor market is due tomorrow, Good Friday, when the Bureau of Labor Statistics will release the March Employment Report.  First Trust expects 223,000 new private sector jobs, which is slightly higher than the consensus expectation of a 215,000 gain.  If we are correct, this would be the 25th month in a row of positive private sector job growth and the fourth consecutive month of job gains over 200,000 a month, something that has not happened since 1999.  You read that correctly, the first four-consecutive-month-period of 200,000, or more, private sector job gains since 1999.  While we will watch for the numbers tomorrow, because the financial markets are closed in observation of Good Friday and Easter, we will not be producing our Data Watch until Monday.  Have a blessed weekend.
Posted on Thursday, April 5, 2012 @ 3:14 PM

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