Weekly Initial Jobless Claims Increase To 311k

Initial jobless claims for the week ending August 9 were a seasonally adjusted 311k, up from the prior week’s revised reading of 290k. Not seasonally adjusted, jobless claims for the week were 269k.

Jobless Claims

The 4-week moving average of initial jobless claims is 296k. This is nearing historic lows.

Jobless Claims 4W

The insured unemployment rate was 1.9%, unchanged from the week prior.

Insured Unemployment

The number of unemployment insurance recipients, or continuing claims, for regular state programs was 2.544 million, up from the previous week’s revised reading of 2.519 million.

Unemployment Insurance

Individual states that had changes in claims of more than 1k (not seasonally adjusted):


Jobless claims and the unemployment rate:

Labor Market

Distributive Trade Sales And Manufacturers’ Shipments Increase 0.3% In June

The combined value of distributive trade sales and manufacturers’ shipments for June, adjusted for seasonal and trading-day differences but not for price changes, was estimated at $1.3467 trillion. That is up 0.3% from May and up 4.7% from a year ago.

Manufacturers’ and trade inventories were estimated at an end-of-month level of $1.7431 trillion. That is up 0.4% from May and up 5.8% from a year ago.

Trade Sales Monthly

Trade Sales Annual

Trade Sales Total

The total business inventories-to-sales ratio based on seasonally adjusted data at the end of June  was 1.294, unchanged from May. The June 2013 ratio was 1.281.

Trade Sales Inventory

Retail Sales Little Changed In July

Advance estimates of retail and food services sales for July, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $439.8 billion.

Retail Sales

This is essentially unchanged from June’s sales, and follows five consecutive months of increases. Retail sales are up 3.7% from July 2013.

Retail Sales Change

Sales increased the most in July for the miscellaneous retailers category, rising 0.9%. The general merchandise category declined the most, falling by 0.5%.

Retail Sales July

Treasury Runs Budget Deficit of $94.6 Billion In July

The federal government ran a budget deficit of $94.6 billion during the month of July. This compares with a $97.6 billion deficit in July of 2013.

Monthly Activity

Receipts for the month totaled $210.6 billion, up from $200.0 billion a year earlier. Total outlays were $305.2 billion from $297.6 billion a year earlier.

The rolling 12-month U.S. government budget deficit through July was $534.3 billion, an improvement from $537.3 billion in June. The rolling 12-month budget balance as a percentage of gross domestic product is -3.09%.

Treasury Statement

The Hype Cycle For Emerging Technologies

Gartner has just published its hype cycle for emerging technologies chart, which places technological developments on a spectrum from innovation triggers to plateaus of productivity.

They suggest that the oft-mentioned internet of things is currently at the peak of inflated expectations, and will soon be moving to the middle of the cycle, the trough of disillusionment.


SNAP Participation Falls 22k In May

The number of Americans receiving assistance from the Supplementary Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), previously known as food stamps, decreased by 22k in May.

Participation Change

A total of 46.225 million people participated in the program in May.


The number of SNAP participants as a ratio of the total employed persons was 31.67%, down from 31.74% in April.

SNAP to Employed

The average monthly benefit received per person in May was $125.15, up from $124.70.

Cost Change


The total cost of the SNAP program in May was $5.785 billion, up from $5.767 billion in April. The annual cost of the SNAP program (rolling 12 months) was $72.221 billion, down from $72.749 billion.

Annual Cost

Productivity Rises At 2.5% Pace In Second Quarter

U.S. labor productivity increased at an annual rate of 2.5% during the second quarter, a sharp shift from the revised 4.5% rate of decrease in the first quarter. Labor productivity is up 1.2% from the same period last year.


Output increased at an annual rate of 5.2% during the second quarter, as compared with a 2.4% rate of decrease in the first quarter. Output is up 3.2% from the same period last year.


Labor hours increased at an annual rate of 2.7% during the second quarter, as compared with a 2.1% rate of increase in the first quarter. Labor hours are up 2.0% from the same period last year.

Labor Hours

Hourly compensation increased at an annual rate of 3.1% during the second quarter, as compared with a 6.8% rate of increase in the first quarter. Hourly compensation is up 3.1% from the same period last year.

Hourly Compensation

Real (inflation-adjusted) hourly compensation increased at an annual rate of 0.1% during the second quarter, as compared with a 4.8% rate of increase in the first quarter. Real hourly compensation is up 1.0% from the same period last year.

Real Hourly Compensation

Unit labor costs increased at an annual rate of 0.6% during the second quarter, as compared with a 11.8% rate of increase in the first quarter. Unit labor costs are up 1.9% from the same period last year.

Unit Labor Costs

The table below shows the breakdown across sectors.

Productivity and Costs Table

This was an economic data release. It may or may not have been inline with expectations of people who expect things.