Two Economic Indicators Paint A Positive(ish) Picture

Jobless claims for first-time filers, despite a number of furloughed Minnesota state employees flooding the rolls, fell 14,000 to 418,000, the Labor Department reported today.

At the same time, payroll giant ADP said that the private sector added 157,000 jobs in June, three times the number of jobs added in May and the 18th consecutive month of employment gains.

The two indicators mean the economy may be slowly improving, though jobless claims should be lower, economists say, to indicate real growth.

“It’s still not low,” Robert Brusca, president of Fact & Opinion Economics in New York, told Bloomberg News. “The moving average has been stuck in this 420,000 to 430,000 range. It’s basically been doing the same thing for the last six, seven weeks. The supporting data about the job market suggest last month’s weak jobs report was not a one-off, that job growth is actually weaker than previously thought.”