NEW YORK — Initial unemployment claims in the United States jumped by 16,000 to 360,000 the week ending July 6, after dipping by 4,000 to a revised 344,000 (was 343,000) for the previous week. Market expectations had been for a 340,000 reading, said Nathan Janzen, an economist for RBC Economics.
The four-week moving average of initial claims rose for the first time in three weeks, climbing to 351,750 from 345,750 for the previous week. Continuing claims for the week ending June 29 rose by 24,000 to 2,977,000.
“The initial claims readings in the month of July are notoriously volatile, as a result of difficulties seasonally adjusting the weekly data around the traditional retooling period for automotive factories in the month,” said Janzen. “This seasonal volatility, rather than underlying weakness, may well have been a factor in the larger than expected increase in claims in the latest week.
“The claims reports for the remainder of July are likely to remain volatile, and it will likely be a number of weeks before we get a ‘clean’ reading; however, we continue to expect that after stronger-than-expected job growth in the first half of 2013, underlying labor market conditions will continue to improve during the second half of the year, particularly as the pace of fiscal contraction begins to ease,” he added.
Nathan Janzen, Economist, RBC Economics