Aggie, it turns out your hamsters slept through the new jobless claims report! That’s understandable, however, as the bean counters released the report a day early.
Jobless claims fall following Sandy surge
By Annalyn Kurtz @CNNMoney November 21, 2012: 9:13 AM ET
Claims for unemployment benefits fell last week following an earlier surge related to Superstorm Sandy.
About 410,000 people filed for first-time unemployment benefits during the week ending November 17, down 41,000 from the previous week, the Labor Department said Thursday.
Revised data show during the week ending November 10 initial claims spiked by 90,000. About 84,000 of those claims came from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut and were primarily due to the storm, the Department of Labor said in a release.
It will likely take a few more weeks before initial claims fall back to pre-storm levels. In the four weeks before Sandy, it was common for the states to process an average of 367,000 new claims for unemployment benefits each week.
Excluding the impact from Sandy, it looks as if initial claims would have continued to hover around that level.
“There appears to be little underlying deterioration in labor market conditions in recent weeks. That’s the good news,” Sal Guatieri, senior economist with BMO Capital Markets said in a research note.
“The bad news is that there has been no improvement, either, which can be blamed partly on uncertainty relating to the fiscal cliff,” he added.
I don’t know about everyone, but I know somebody in the hardware business who works around practically the clock since Sandy hit. I imagine builders and contractors of all sorts are equally busy. In other words, I can’t see the good news in 410,000 when 367,000 was the “norm”.