On Tuesday I said:
Additionally, as you can see in particular from the last graph, even mid-sized moves within a trend by Real retail sales are usually mimicked by the next month's Initial Jobless Claims -- see for example the late 2005 spike due to Katrina, and a similar, smaller spike in January of this year. Since Real retail sales soared in August due in large part to "cash for clunkers", it should be no surprise that Initial Jobless claims have fallen in each of the last two weeks, and may well continue to do so for several more.
This morning Initial Jobless claims fell to 530,000, the lowest since July 24's 524,000. The 4 week moving average fell to 553,500, the lowest since January of this year:
The number of U.S. workers filing new claims for jobless benefits unexpectedly fell 21,000 last week, government data showed on Thursday, and a less volatile unemployment claims gauge dipped to an eight-month low.
Initial claims for state unemployment insurance declined to a seasonally adjusted 530,000 in the week ending Sept. 19 from a revised 551,000 in the previous week. Analysts polled by Reuters were expecting claims to rise to 550,000 from a previously reported 545,000.
High-paid Wall Street analysts may have been surprised, but you weren't if you were paying attention to this blog.
By the way, this is one week's data, and comes nowhere near to satisfying my condition of the 4 week average dropping to 530,000 on a sustained basis before there will be actual job growth in the economy.