Applications for unemployment benefits unexpectedly increased last week to the highest level since February 2015, a sign progress in the U.S. job market is moderating.
Initial jobless claims rose by 20,000 to 294,000 in the week ended May 7, a report from the Labor Department showed Thursday. The median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a decline to 270,000.
The figures signal a more modest recovery lies ahead as companies adjust headcounts after a first-quarter slowdown in demand. Economists will continue to monitor claims data in the coming weeks before concluding that the labor market is taking a bigger step back.Wow, look at that spin.
- unemployment benefits unexpectedly increased
- second week in a row for a horrendous report
- highest level since February, 2015
- analysts really, really missed the forecast
- analysts expected a decline
- in fact, the number rose ... and by a lot
Had this happened under a GOP administration, the media would be falling all over itself to tell us how bad things are.
It should be noted that employers are looking forward to the new ObamaCare premiums that will be announced later this autumn -- probably after the election.
A bit more from the article:
The figures signal a more modest recovery lies ahead as companies adjust headcounts after a first-quarter slowdown in demand. Economists will continue to monitor claims data in the coming weeks before concluding that the labor market is taking a bigger step back.Continuing claims: increased to 268,250 from 258,000.
I understand that at least one truck manufacturer is shutting down for one week in the near future due to slow demand. Workers will be able to apply for unemployment insurance for this week.
Note recent weekly unemployment claims:
- most recent week: unexpectedly surges 20,000
- last week: unexpectedly jumps 17,000
- week before that: up 9,000
- March 31, 2016: surge unexpectedly; up 11,000 from previous week
- March 17, 2016: jumps another 7,000
- March 4, 2016: 242,000 vs 190,000 forecast
Having said that, with the headwinds facing the US and the global economy, if the Fed raises rates, it is simply because the Fed feels it has to do something. Speaking of which, what does the Fed really do?
The Reuters lede seems to be a bit more realistic in its assessment:
The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose last week, touching the highest level in more than a year, which could raise concerns about labor market health in the wake of the slowdown in job gains in April.On another note, US crude hits six-month high after IEA sees tighter supply. Data points from this article as well as others:
- global production is forecast to decline by 200,000 bopd
- output from Nigeria, Libya, and Venezuela is down 450,000 bopd from a year ago
- US crude inventories fell by 3.4 million bbls to 540 million bbls last week, surprising analysts who had expected an increase of 714,000 bbls
- analysts anticipate North American inventories will fall by as much as 12 million bbls through June
- Canadian oil sands production will drop 1 million bopd (from 4 million bopd to 3 million bopd)
- Canadian oil sands production will be back on line much faster than analysts earlier thought
- IEA raised 2016 global oil demand growth estimates from 1.16 million bopd to 1.2 million bopd (40,000 bopd)
- global production is around 90 million bopd; an increase of 40,000 bopd doesn't even reach the threshold of a rounding error
- that US inventory? Look at the EIA graph from yesterday
- the IEA admitted about a month ago or so that on a regular basis, it cannot account for 800,000 bopd -- that's the amount that is probably sloshing around in ocean-going tankers; stored in unused railroad cars in Omaha, NE; what ISIS is selling Turkey; and the amount Americans are storing in their SUVs as they keep their gasoline tanks full