Jobless Figures, Ominous For Tomorrow's Unemployment

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We have just seen the figure for weekly jobless claims, and it is an ugly prelude to tomorrow’s unemployment and non-farm payroll data.  The good news is that worker productivity came in better than expected, but as the unit labor costs are running up so much you have to wonder if management will decide that it can keep firing the worker bees.

The weekly figures came in at 481,000 versus expectations of 479,000. Last week’s numbers were also revised higher to 485,000 from 479,000.  Is there any comfort that this has not come in at over 500,000 yet?

Continuing jobless claims grew again and now sits at 3.84 million from a revised 3.72 million.

Productivity came in at +1.1% rather than +0.4% and unit labor costs came in at +3.6% rather than the 3.0% expected.

Unemployment is expected to come in at 6.3% tomorrow after a 6.1% reading the prior month.  Non-Farm Payrolls are also expected to come in -200,000.

Forget morale, the beatings must continue.

Jon C. Ogg
November 6, 2008