Jobless Claims Rise Above Expectations
Initial jobless claims were just reported. After last week's jump in claims, economists had expected 383k to file first-time claims for unemployment benefits. The actual number was slightly higher; 387k filed claims. Last weeks report of 386K filing claims (which was also higher than expected) was revised higher, to 389k claims. It is very likely that this weeks number will be revised higher next week. This is not a good trend.
The next two jobs reports may very well decide November's election. May's lousy jobs report surprised many people and shocked Democrats and the media. Polls since then have showed a steady drop in Obama's support.
On July 6th, we will get June's jobs report. Based on recent initial jobless claims numbers, it is hard to see who that report will be much of an improvement over May's. We'll likely see very low levels of hiring or, even, an actual drop in the number of jobs.
The next jobs reports before the election will come on August 3, September 7, October 5 and November 2. The reports in August and September are probably the last that will impact the election. After that voters will have their expectations on the economy "set" and will be unlikely to be persuaded otherwise unless there is an unprecedented spike in hiring in the October or November reports.
Obama's time to make his economic case is running out.