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By Kevin Kastner, Sara Haire and Holly Stokes
WASHINGTON (MNI) - The following are the key points from the weekly
unemployment insurance claims data for the December 16 week released by
the Labor Department Thursday:
- The initial claims data showed a 20,000 increase to 245,000 in
the December 16 employment survey week, above the 235,000 level expected
and ahead of recent levels.
- Claims are usually volatile during the holidays, so it is better
to watch the four-week moving average. That measure rose this week by
1,250 to 236,000. The average could rise further next week as the
238,000 level in November 25 week rolls out.
- The level of initial claims is only up 5,000 from the 240,000
level in the November 18 employment survey week, so its predictive
power for December payrolls is rather small.
- Continuing claims rose by 43,000 to 1.932m in the December 9
- Claims filings in the Virgin Islands are still impacted by
the after-effects of the hurricanes, as they were estimated again.
Maine filings were also estimated.
** MNI Washington Bureau: 202-371-2121 **