Blame the Snow: Jobless Claims Rise, Again
Jobless claims hit a nine-month high last week, climbing by 7K to 320K. The Commerce Department report released today followed last week's news that the number of new claims for the prior period jumped by 31K, the biggest weekly increase since 2013. And the total number easily exceeded the 295K forecast by 52 economists in a Bloomberg survey. But those same analysts mostly shrugged off the disappointing numbers, attributing them to an endless barrage of bad winter weather hammering the northeast.
"It’s really the weather, I wouldn’t go crazy about it,” said Brian Jones of Societe Generale. “There were some storms in the second half of February that hit a variety of areas in the United States, and if people can’t work, they file. Anybody who’s involved in doing anything outdoors and they’re unable to work, they’re going to file paperwork.”
A report out tomorrow is expected to show the unemployment rate dipping to 5.6%, its lowest level in more than six months.