Weekly Unemployment Claims Surprise Analysts: Stock Market Soars

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One constant you can bank on in this economy is change!  The jobless claims for the week ending 2/26 came in at 368,000 which surprised analysts who expected the number to be at 398,000.  This number was also down 20,000 from the prior week’s revised figure of 388,000.  The four-week moving average is 388,500, a decrease of 12,750 in claims.


The total number of people still claiming benefits for the week ending 2/12 was 9,236,041.  That’s still a lot of people looking for jobs.  Of this number, 3,653,267 people are claiming EUC (Emergency Unemployment Compensation) benefits for the week ending 2/12.  Though still a disturbing number, this is a decrease of 32,094 from the prior week.  The EUC claims include the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th tier groups.


The largest increase in initial claims for the week ending 2/19 were in Illinois (+530), Oregon (+339), Tennessee (+225), Alaska (+191) and Vermont (+186).  The largest decrease in claims were in NY (-4,270), Pennsylvania (-3,842), Wisconsin (-3,163), Kentucky (-2,641), and Florida (-2,613)


The trend in a number of states that saw a decrease in unemployment claims is fewer lay-offs in construction, trade, service industries and manufacturing.  These numbers are encouraging since many of these jobs were lost when the Great Recession began, and had not come back when it technically ended June, 09.


The stock market welcomed the positive news with a 191.40 point increase in the Dow and an increase of 50.67 points in the NASDAQ.  Traders say that the market was helped today with less Middle East conflict and the unexpected decline in jobless claims.  Check out http://www.mrtopstep.com/ for a daily analysis of the stock market from the CME floor.


For more information and data on unemployment claims go to www.dol.gov/

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