Initial claims rose very marginally week over week (with the declining trend of early 2013 now over); continung claims rose more - considerably more than expectations - with its biggest 7-week rise since early 2009 to the highest in 6 months; but the major news is the drop in Emergency Unemployment Compensation beneficiaries from 1.37 million to (drum roll please) zero! Congress decision not to extend this beenfit means there are 2 million fewer people on benefits than a year ago. The 1.4 million drop also means the number of people NOT in the labor force is about to rise by the same amount, which as we explained before, means the US unemployment rate is about to drop by up to 0.8%, which means the January unemployment rate could be as low as 5.9%.
Emergency claims recipients dropped to zero...
As continuing claims rose by the most (over the last 7 weeks) since 2009... to the highest in six months
The total number of people claiming benefits in all programs for the week ending January 4 was 3,706,087, a decrease of 1,003,734 from the previous week. There were 5,659,482 persons claiming benefits in all programs in the comparable week in 2013.