NEW YORK | Thu May 17, 2012 9:04am EDT
(Reuters) – New U.S. claims for unemployment benefits were unchanged last week, according to government data on Thursday that will do little to ease concerns about a recent slowdown in jobs growth.
DOUG ROBERTS, CHIEF INVESTMENT STRATEGIST, CHANNEL CAPITAL RESEARCH.COM, SHREWSBURY, NEW JERSEY
“What we’re seeing is a deterioration. This is further confirmation that it (earlier improvement) was largely due to the warm weather, it might have been due to the manufacturing surge we had last year.”
ELLEN ZENTNER, SENIOR U.S. ECONOMIST, NOMURA SECURITIES, NEW YORK
“The April increase in initial jobless claims is very obviously the effect of seasonal adjustment issues surrounding the Easter holiday. Claims have now returned to levels similar to what we saw in March when the economy created 150,000 jobs and that’s likely to provide the underpinning for the baseline forecast for payrolls in May.
“Over the past two weeks is the first time that there was evidence that claims had come back down from the troubling increase that we saw over April. This is the third straight week that claims have remained lower, definitely proving that April was an anomaly.
“That’s good news because it means there are still supportive job conditions in the economy, which are of course necessary for the U.S. recovery to continue. ”
ADAM SARHAN, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF SARHAN CAPITAL IN NEW YORK
“The trend in the jobs market over the past few weeks has been one of steady to a little weaker than expected. The concern for investors is whether the economy will continue to grow, and if the job market will remain pressured.”
DAVID ADER, HEAD OF GOVERNMENT BOND STRATEGY, CRT CAPITAL GROUP, STAMFORD, CONNECTICUT
“A bit higher than expected with a prior upward revision so a sense that claims have stalled around this 370,000. This report is for the nonfarm payrolls survey week, and so about 18,000 less than for the April nonfarm payrolls survey week suggesting some better risk for the nonfarm payrolls report. Don’t take that to heart; it’s a tough correlation to bet on.”
SEAN INCREMONA, ECONOMIST, 4CAST LTD, NEW YORK:
“It is not very surprising, this has been on the disappointing side. We are really not showing much momentum in the labor market at this time. This is the reference week for May employment. It does seem like the underlying progress in the labor market has hit its maximum and has sort of stabilized at this point.”