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First Cut: Initial jobless claims up slightly in September 28 week, little evidence of impact from UAW strike as yet

Initial jobless claims were up 4,000 in the week ended September 28, little changed from the prior week’s 215,000. Unadjusted claims were down 3,360 to 172,018 and suggested that layoffs related to the UAW strike at GM were not yet prevalent, or perhaps that savvy workers will wait until after the start of a new quarter after October 1 when benefits may be higher. The four-week moving average was unchanged at 212,500 in the week.

The Labor Department cited no special factors and no states estimated claims.

Continuing claims were down 5,000 in the September 21 week at 1.651 million. The four-week moving average declined a similar 5,750 to 1.662 million. The insured rate of unemployment held at its record low of 1.1% for a second week, although the rounded rate indicates it is only just there at 1.145% in the week.

The present low levels of filing may be the calm before the storm if the strike at GM continues and if the manufacturing sector contracts further. Certainly the risks seem placed to push claims higher.

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