– by New Deal democrat
Initial jobless claims had been in an almost relentless uptrend from the end of March through early August. Since then, they have completely reversed.
This week initial claims declined another -6,000 to 222,000, and the 4 week average declined -7,500 to 233,000. Continuing claims, which lag somewhat, increased another 36,000 to 1,473,000, a 5 month high:
There was a little caterwauling on CNBC about the increase in continued claims. I am not concerned in the slightest. As I wrote above, they lag initial claims. They will reverse lower in the next few weeks.
Lower gas prices continue to bring lots of good short term news to the economy. I tipped off Menzie Chinn of Econbrowser to their correlation to consumer confidence and presidential approval, and he helpfully calculated their correlation, with graphs, in this post.
I want to caution that the long term outlook in next year remains negative; but as noted above, this takes the pressure off the short term.