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Real Time Insight

The only labor market data from Washington DC, these days of shutdown politics, was supposed to be weekly jobless claims. All other government reports have been delayed by the shutdown. The Labor Department adds claims numbers up from 50 state programs.

New jobless claim numbers in recent weeks have been creating a fresh six-year low and were back to a pre-2008 level.

In the week ended Oct. 5, economists forecasted a small rise in initial jobless claims to 312,000 from a lower 308,000.  For a comparison, U.S. claims totaled 352,000 a year ago.  This +12.5% improvement underpinned the bull market in U.S. stocks the last year.

What unemployment claims numbers did we get?

The number of people who filed new requests for U.S. unemployment benefits surged to 374,000 in the first week of October.  That’s the highest level in six months.  Why did this happen?  Sponsors attributed it to processing screw-ups in California -- and the Federal government shutdown.
So much for that!
My RTI question:  As a Stock Picker, How Do You Use Jobs Data?

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