Employers continue to close their ears to the recession propagandists telling them that the economy is in a shambles. Initial jobless claims in the week that ended May 31 fell to 357,000 from 375,000, and the four-week average slid to 368,500 from 371,250. Such claims are usually way over 400,000 week after week during a full-blown contraction. The folks over at Action Economics point to a number of positive developments sure to hearten any bull:
The U.S. initial jobless claims drop to 357k in the final week of May, following yesterday's 40k May ADP gain [in private payrolls] and the upside May ISM NMI surprise at 51.7 despite a modest employment component correction, has put a positive spin on the employment indicators as we approach Friday's jobs report. Some upside surprises in today's retail chain store figures for May, and Wal-Mart's reference to its U.S. business as "strong," has also reinforced the notion that we will get a solid round of rebate-fueled retail sales figures for May despite the dismal vehicle figures, which probably were dominated by the disruptive effects of soaring gasoline prices and the American Axle strike.