As expected, first time claims rose “unexpectedly," last week. As Jeanna Smialek of Bloomberg reports:
Jobless claims climbed by 19,000 to 348,000 in the period ended Jan. 25, which included the Martin Luther King holiday, Labor Department data showed today in Washington. The reading was the highest since mid-December. The median forecast of 55 economists surveyed by Bloomberg projected 330,000.
This was the biggest “miss” in six weeks but, then, expert interpretation of these reports is a tricky thing and requires subtle understanding of various outliers. Note, for instance, that last week included “the Martin Luther King holiday” which nobody expected. A miss next week will be even easier to account for, what with snow in Atlanta.
It begins to seem that the enduring headline on most unemployment/jobs stories might as well be, Same Old, Same Old.