The U.S. Labor Department's report on weekly jobless claims blew the doors off the hinges. After last week's reading was revised to 303,000 from 302,000, the number came in at only 284,000. Bloomberg had the consensus estimate up at 310,000, with a range of estimates from 305,000 up to 320,000.
This is called overdrive, and the number has to be strong enough that it will catch at least a couple Fed presidents' eyes. The auto retooling that takes place seasonally can impact readings in the summer, but this was still the lowest reading since well before the official start of the recession.
Another post-recovery low was from the four week average. That fell by some 7,250 to 302,000.
Even the army of the unemployed was smaller. The continuing claims, reported with a one-week lag, were down by 8,000 more to 2.500 million.
Another positive is that the unemployment rate for insured workers is 1.9%.
Summer can be tricky when you consider auto retooling and when you consider jobs in and around education. Still, this one is so good that it is just hard to criticize. We also think this will be fodder for hawkish Fed presidents in the coming week's worth of speeches to get on a rate hike wagon sooner rather than later.
Filed under: Economy