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Initial Jobless Claims Shrink 15,000, But Still Distorted by Shutdown and California

By  +Follow October 17, 2013 9:10AM
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The number of Americans making first time filings for jobless benefits pulled back from six month highs last week, but the figures remain skewed because of the partial government shutdown and California still trying to process a backlog of claims resulting from a computer system upgrade a month ago. 

The Labor Department reported on Thursday that initial jobless claims for the week ended October 12 declined by 15,000 to a seasonally adjusted 358,000 from a revised 373,000 claims (down from 374,000) the week earlier.  Economists were expecting a drop to 335,000 claims.

The week prior claims mushroomed to the highest level since March because of the start of a 2-1/2 week partial shutdown of the government due to politicians not agreeing on a budget.  Further, California, which was previously reported to have been caught up on processing a stockpile of claims resulting from a computer changeover in September, was not done and is still working its way through the backlog.

On that point, it’s difficult to get a good gauge on meaningful data from this week’s claims.  The shutdown also clouded the condition of the jobs market by delaying the monthly employment situation report that was supposed to arrive on October 4.

The shutdown ended this morning after Congress passed a last minute deal on Wednesday to fund the government through mid-January and raise the debt ceiling until early in February.

The four-week moving average of initial jobless claims, generally a better barometer of the labor market (but not so at this point because of temporary issues), rose by 11,750 to 336,500.  That’s the highest mark since July.

Continuing claims for the week ended October 5, which account for people already collecting benefits in state programs, fell to 2.859 million from a revised 2.902 million a week prior.  Continuing claims are reported at a one-week lag to initial claims.

Total claims for the week ended September 28, which includes recipients of all state and federal claims benefits, dropped to 3.929 million from 4.011 million the week earlier.  Total claims come at a two-week lag to initial claims.  For the same period in 2012, total claims were 5.002 million.

The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending October 5 were in California (+33,654), Maryland (+4,609) and Ohio (+4,122).  The largest decreases were in Oregon (-149), Puerto Rico (-77) and Missouri (-50).

The markets are largely ignoring the data on Thursday because of the lack of clarity to the figures.  Wall Street is mixed with the Dow Jones Industrial Average feeling a drag from Goldman Sachs (GS) and International Business Machines (IBM) , tugging the index down 61 points, while the broader S&P 500 is ahead by 4 points and the tech-rich Nasdaq advances 10 points at the noon hour.

 

[Image Courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons]

DISCLOSURE: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, and do not represent the views of equities.com. Readers should not consider statements made by the author as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions.


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Meg Ragland
18 Dec 14 15:32:36
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Eni Puzzles
18 Dec 14 15:29:04
RT @GS10KSmallBiz: Had a great day at the #10KSBgrad holiday market at $GS NY. @Lolagranolabar @BrooklynCupcake @PlumPrint @MakeMyCakeNY ht…
4-traders.com
18 Dec 14 15:22:05
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Wojtek M.
18 Dec 14 15:06:17
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Make My Cake NY
18 Dec 14 14:53:31
RT @GS10KSmallBiz: Had a great day at the #10KSBgrad holiday market at $GS NY. @Lolagranolabar @BrooklynCupcake @PlumPrint @MakeMyCakeNY ht…
Plum Print
18 Dec 14 14:48:17
RT @GS10KSmallBiz: Had a great day at the #10KSBgrad holiday market at $GS NY. @Lolagranolabar @BrooklynCupcake @PlumPrint @MakeMyCakeNY ht…
10K Small Businesses
18 Dec 14 14:45:05
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MarketWeight
18 Dec 14 14:27:46
@RangerHondo We can't have $GS take a loss can we? Remember their busted options trades? @zerohedge
YourPersonalTrader
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️YPT SCRIPTED... $GS +3.5% $JPM +2.9% $HYG +.8% $USO -2.8% https://t.co/RLwpn5IEnI
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Positive Report for EQT Midstream from Goldman Sachs $EQM $GS http://t.co/ybodOZzjij
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All about the Bull call spread http://t.co/p9KeWdiLwS $GS $COST $FDX
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robert
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John Weinberg out as co-head of investment banking at Goldman http://t.co/S1DQWNv1Ua $GS
LeBron James
18 Dec 14 13:40:57
RT USATODAYmoney Leading the Dow higher: Microsoft (+3.9%) $MSFT, IBM (+3.8%) $IBM and Goldman Sachs (+3.6%) $GS. http://t.co/c28g0pEhNP
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18 Dec 14 13:38:43
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18 Dec 14 13:38:20
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18 Dec 14 13:33:30
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Lawanda Mcgill
18 Dec 14 13:33:03
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18 Dec 14 13:32:17
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Dangelo Cadwell
18 Dec 14 13:28:51
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it assessors
18 Dec 14 13:26:34
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Silvia Adduci
18 Dec 14 13:14:20
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18 Dec 14 13:03:44
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18 Dec 14 13:03:37
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Alpha Maven Alerts
18 Dec 14 13:01:22
$GS, Negative sentiment, -0.25, 1H, 4:00 PM EST, 18 Dec, #NYSE $DJI $SPY
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18 Dec 14 12:59:28
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18 Dec 14 12:59:11
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18 Dec 14 12:52:40
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$GS - Fed Gives Banks More Time to Sell Private-Equity, Hedge Fund Stakes -- Update http://t.co/MiGO5eocMV
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18 Dec 14 12:31:05
$GS - Fed Gives Banks More Time to Sell Private-Equity, Hedge Fund Stakes http://t.co/WNkEJ9dQq9
Scott Smith
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18 Dec 14 12:23:44
#GoldmanSachs’s $GS Waldron Replaces Weinberg as Banking Co-Head http://t.co/GO06KVt3dB
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18 Dec 14 12:23:09
$GS: John Weinberg out as co-head of investment banking at Goldman (GS) http://t.co/8Ydm1zjnJJ http://t.co/QcouTotJPA
ProTradersNews
18 Dec 14 12:23:05
$GS: Goldman Sachs (GS) Names New co-Head of Investment Banking http://t.co/BgD3VluHOM http://t.co/g2rzzawSSU
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18 Dec 14 12:19:05
$GS - Goldman's Waldron to Replace Weinberg as Co-Head of Investment Banking http://t.co/K31nUhLhKG
Quantpost Financial
18 Dec 14 12:16:55
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18 Dec 14 12:16:51
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4-traders.com
18 Dec 14 12:15:03
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Dick Darlington
18 Dec 14 12:13:46
RT @noalpha_allbeta: $GS GLI just barely positive http://t.co/UPNKVvU1G9
David Durand
18 Dec 14 12:11:28
CNBC plays its "ominous music" again. They are doing that now into the rallies. Must be paid for by $GS so they can buy lower? ; )
Nick
18 Dec 14 12:07:37
RT @noalpha_allbeta: $GS GLI just barely positive http://t.co/UPNKVvU1G9
HedgedIn
18 Dec 14 12:06:53
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4-traders.com
18 Dec 14 12:03:05
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18 Dec 14 11:52:43
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18 Dec 14 11:52:04
$GS - Goldman's Waldron to Replace Weinberg as Co-Head of Investment Banking http://t.co/5jEtXR3P4R
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18 Dec 14 11:51:07
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By  +Follow October 17, 2013 9:10AM
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