In the week ended the 20th of August, US initial jobless claims rose unexpectedly. Initial weekly claims jumped from an upwardly revised 412 000 to 417 000, while the consensus was looking for a decline to 405 000. The less volatile 4-week moving average rose from 403 500 to 407 500. The Labour Department added that at least 8 500 new claims last week and 12 500 in the August 13 week were due to a (35,77 USD, -1,92%) labour dispute.
Continuing claims, which are reported with an extra week lag, surprised on the downside of expectations falling to the lowest level since September 2008. Continuing claims dropped from an upwardly revised 3 721 000 to 3 641 000 in the week ended the 13th of August. In July, jobless claims edged lower probably due to fewer layoffs in the automobile sector. It is an encouraging sign that continuing claims are back at pre-crisis levels, but several firms announced layoffs in August, which might push the initial claims again up in the coming weeks.