Initial Claims Support Belief In Strong March Job Growth Report

Initial claims for unemployment for the week ended March 10 fell by by 4,000 to 226,000. That was in-line with projections from economists surveyed by This is the 158th consecutive week that new claims for unemployment have been below 300,000. The less volatile 4-week moving average slipped by 750 to 221,500.

In February the economy added 313,000 net new jobs, blowing away economist productions of a gain of 210,000 jobs.

Today’s report of lower than expected initial claims for unemployment raised hopes in the financial markets that the economy will match that upside surprise in March. The March jobs report is scheduled for release on Friday, April 6.

Between then and now, of course, we’re got the March 21 meeting of the Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee.  The CME FedWatch tool, which looks at the Fed Funds Futures market to calculate the odds of an interest rate move by the Federal Reserve, today put the odds of the Fed raising rates at its March 21 meeting at 91.6%. That’s up from 87.4% yesterday.