NEW YORK (Reuters) - New claims for unemployment benefits rose less than expected last week, according to a government report on Thursday that hinted at an improvement in labor market conditions.
PIERRE ELLIS, SENIOR ECONOMIST, DECISION ECONOMICS, NEW YORK
"Jobless claims are probably favorable for the labor market. The issue is whether the readings are properly adjusted for swings that normally occur at the end of the quarter. People postpone filing because they can sometimes get a bigger benefit if they wait until the start of the next quarter, depending on the state. The seasonal adjustments adjust for a bulge in the start of the new quarter. But even if there's a relatively large increase next week, October as a whole will show a fairly good-sized decline from September. There's no real message from this about the non-farm payrolls number for tomorrow."
ANDREW WILKINSON, CHIEF ECONOMIC STRATEGIST, MILLER TABAK & CO. LLC., NEW YORK
"The report will likely firm market expectations for a bigger jump in private hiring within the September employment report due Friday. Consensus for private hiring of 91,000 matches the earlier in the week statistic reported by ADP. At worst the size of today's initial claims reading doesn't seem to reflect any impact of the free-falling exhibition across financial markets. Perhaps employers are going about regular business and tired of the media gloom."
DAN RIPP, PRESIDENT OF BRADLEY WOODS & CO LTD IN NEW YORK
"This isn't a particularly important data point. It isn't dramatically beneath what people were expecting, so it's not a real shot in the arm for the economy. It was more or less expected, but things are moving in the right direction."
VIMOMBI NHSOM, ECONOMIST, IFR ECONOMICS, A UNIT OF THOMSON REUTERS
"The change, of 6k, is slight in magnitude compared to the weekly movement from the week prior. The revised reading of 395k claims filed in the week ending September 29 represented an unexpected drop of 33k. The report is not really a game changer. The level was expected to 'correct' upwards given that its below-400k reading was influenced by a seasonal factor allowing the seasonally adjusted level fall materially. What is interesting, is the fact that the 'correction' still settles claims at an acceptable level -- much better than the range of 417k-432k seen mid-September. Even with the movement upwards, claims' average still fell (by 4k) to 414k.
"Those continuing to file claims also fell, to 3.7mln people in the week ending September 29. This represents a pretty notable drop of 52k, which is movement the level hadn't seen since the end of July. The level is also par with its late-July reading (3.695mln), when continuing claims just dipped beneath the 3.7mln barrier it has not been able to break for most of 2011. Continuing's average fell to 3.739mln -- a drop of nearly 10k. The percentage of the eligible population receiving benefits inched down to 2.9%."