Merrill's Rosenberg Foresees 'Sharp Decline' In U.S. Jobs

By John S. McClenahen The U.S. Labor Department won't report this month's job numbers until May 2. But David A. Rosenberg, New York-based Merrill Lynch & Co.'s chief North American economist, is anticipating another "sharp decline" in nonfarm payroll numbers. In March, the nonfarm sector of the U.S. economy shed 108,000 jobs. There's reason to believe that Rosenberg will be proven right. Initial claims for unemployment insurance increased to 442,000 for the week ending April 12, the U.S. Labor Department reported on April 17. That mark was 30,000 higher than the previous week's revised figure of 412,000. The department's four-week moving average of initial claims, generally a good indicator of the U.S. labor market's underlying condition, also rose in the week ending April 12. The moving average was 424,750, an increase of 3,500 from its week-before level of 421,250.

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