WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) – U.S. jobless claims jumped 34,000 last week to 386,000, unwinding a sharp drop in the prior week, amid typical summertime fluctuations in auto-industry employment, the Labor Department reported Thursday. Auto manufacturers usually schedule brief shutdowns of plants each summer to retool for new models, but the timing and size of temporary layoffs can vary. As a result, the claims report tends to be volatile in July. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had projected claims would climb to 365,000 last week. A more accurate barometer of labor-market trends, the four-week claims average, fell 1,500 to 375,500. The four-week average reduces seasonal volatility in the weekly data. Meanwhile, continuing claims inched up by 1,000 to a seasonally adjusted 3.31 million in the week ended July 7. About 5.75 million people received some kind of state or federal benefit in the week ended June 30, down 121,985 from the prior week.
Don’t worry, the president will get right on this. As soon as he can.