Initial Jobless Claims Drop 3.5%

Longer-term trend takes a welcome dip.

Jul 10, 2014 at 9:43AM

Initial jobless claims dropped 3.5% to 304,000 for the week ending July 5, according to a Labor Department report released today, nearly a seven-year low.

After increasing a revised 0.6% the previous week, this newest report fell well below analysts' expectations of 315,000 initial claims, the same as the week before. 


Source: Author, data from Labor Department 

From a more long-term perspective, a 1.1% decline in the four-week moving average to 311,500 initial claims marks the first dip in three reports. For investors, this serves as a welcome reassurance that an upward trend seems avoidable, and a downward trend attainable. Both the latest week's claims and the four-week average fall significantly below 400,000, a cutoff point that economists consider a sign of an improving labor market.

On a state-by-state basis, five states recorded decreases of more than 1,000 initial claims for the week ending June 28 (most recent available data). California enjoyed the largest drop (-7,290), due primarily to fewer services sector layoffs. 

For the same period, three states registered increases of more than 1,000 initial claims. Educational services layoffs in New Jersey and Massachusetts were the primary contributors to the states' 8,580-claim and 4,570-claim boosts, respectively. Connecticut did not provide a comment to the Labor Department for its 1,410-initial-claim increase. 

The latest overall number is not far from a reading of 298,000 two months ago, which was the lowest since 2007, before the Great Recession began. Still, some economists warned that the figures could be volatile in the weeks ahead because auto manufacturers typically close their plants in July to prepare for new models to be released in the fall. That can cause spikes in temporary layoffs.

The number of people receiving benefits ticked up 10,000 to 2.58 million. That's down from about 4.5 million a year ago. Much of that decline has occurred because an extended benefits program expired at the end of last year.

-- Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Leaked: Apple's next smart device (warning, it may shock you)
Apple recently recruited a secret-development "dream team" to guarantee its newest smart device was kept hidden from the public for as long as possible. And there's one small company making Apple's gadget possible. And its stock price has nearly unlimited room to run for early in-the-know investors. To be one of them, and see Apple's newest smart gizmo, just click here!

Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

©1995-2014 The Motley Fool. All rights reserved. | Privacy/Legal Information