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Claims continue to suggest a stronger labor market

On a seasonally adjusted basis, unemployment claims have fallen by about 15% in the past three months, and are now only about 25% higher than they might be (~325K) if the economy were growing normally and the unemployment rate were relatively low. This is a major, necessary, and welcome adjustment, but it needs to be followed by a pickup in new hirings. We're likely to see that tomorrow in the December jobs report, and we saw it yesterday in the ADP estimate of new jobs. The market is expecting 175K new private sector jobs tomorrow, but the ADP report is pointing to a lot more. This could be exciting.

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