Jobless Claims down Slightly. Productivity Hit as GDP Drops.

Jobless Claims (week ended 2/2/2013)

– Initial Claims (seasonally adjusted) 366,000.  Previous week was revised  from 368,999 to 371,000.

– 4-week Moving Average 350,500.  Previous was revised to 352,750.

– Actual Claims were 386,176 up 16,696 from the previous week.

This is another report which is neither good nor bad.  Things are certainly better than they were a year ago but improvement in the jobs market has slowed.  Details of this week’s report are available from the Department of Labor at

Productivity and Costs  (4thQ2012)

Nonfarm productivity – Quarter/Quarter  (seasonally adjusted, annualized)  -2.0. Previous was revised to +3.2%%

Unit labor costs -(seasonally adjusted, annualized) +4.5%. Previous was -2.3%.

These data are simply an arithmetic consequence of the drop in GDP in the 4thQ2012. As discussed here, some of that drop was synthetic and consisted of the government (DOD in particular) pumping up 3rdQ2012 GDP before the election.