There has been very little change in initial jobless claims over the past seven weeks, pointing to little change in payroll losses for tomorrow's monthly employment report. Initial claims fell 4,000 to 570,000 in the Aug. 29 week (prior week revised 4,000 higher to 574,000). The four-week average is right at the current week, at 571,250. Continuing claims have been generally moving lower since early July, unfortunately reflecting the expiration of benefits and not necessarily new hiring.
But in a bad sign, continuing claims rose in data for the Aug. 22 week, up 92,000 to 6.234 million. The unemployment rate for insured workers rose 1 tenth to 4.7 percent. There was no significant reaction to the report.