The flat U.S. initial claims figure
The flat U.S. initial claims figure at the downwardly-revised 246k (was 249k) level from the first week of October has left a two-week stretch for claims at a new 42-year low, versus the prior 248k low in April, as claims enter October well below September levels. Claims are averaging just 246k thus far in October, versus prior averages of 254k in September, 262k in August, 260k in July, and 265k in June. Next week's BLS survey week reading looks poised to undershoot the lean 251k September figure, versus prior BLS readings of 262k in August, an auto-depressed 252k in July, and 258k in June. Continuing claims also fell to a new cycle-low, of 2,046k, as the summer continuing claims stalling has come to a sharp close since September. Analysts expect a 170k October nonfarm payroll rise that beats recent lean gains of 156k in September and 167 in August, though it falls short of the 178k average gain thus far in 2016.