AW CRAP! DOOMER HOPES FOILED ONCE AGAIN AS INITIAL CLAIMS PLUNGE 35,000 TO 353,000
The number of people who filed applications for unemployment benefits fell by 35,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 353,000, marking the third straight week of sharp swings that reflects the government's difficulty in assessing employment levels in the auto industry. Auto manufacturers used to schedule brief shutdowns of plants every July to retool for new models, but the size of temporary layoffs has varied widely since the industry was bailed out several years ago. That makes the claims report especially volatile in July and less useful in gauging labor-market trends. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had projected they would drop to 378,000 from last week's upwardly revised level of 388,000. A more accurate barometer of labor-market trends, the four-week claims average, declined by 8,750 to 367,250,000, the Labor Department said Thursday.