Initial jobless claims spike to 384,000 last week

After a week that saw initial unemployment claims fall to 350,000 -- a statistical fluke economists now say -- the number soared 34,000 to 384,000 -- a sign that job growth is simply not occurring. Reuters: Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims rising to 365,000 last week. The four-week moving average for new claims, a better measure of labor market trends, fell 1,500 to 375,500 - staying in the middle of the range it has held for much of 2012. "The snapback in the pace of claims should not be particularly surprising as last week's favorable seasonal unwinds," said Millan Mulraine, senior macro strategist at TD Securities in New York. "However, we believe that the current level of initial jobless filings overestimates the true pace of jobless claims, and should see claims fall back to around 370,000 in the coming weeks." Claims data is volatile in July because of the timing of the annual auto plant shutdowns for retooling. Automakers have not embarked on...(Read Full Post)