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Jobless Claims Increase Modestly

Initial jobless claims for the latest week showed a modest increase, rising from 367K to 371K.  Even though the increase was modest, the current level is now the highest since the last week of November, so there has been a slow creep up.  In fact, in each of the last four weeks, claims have shown increases.

On four-week moving average basis, claims rose 365.8K, which was up 6.8K from last week's post-recession low of 359K.

Finally, on a non-seasonally adjusted basis, jobless claims saw a huge increase of just under 62K, rising to 552K.  While this increase may seem large, you have place the move in context with other years where claims typically rise during the first week of January.  In fact, for the current week claims were the lowest since 2008, and well below the average of 615.5K going back to 2000.