Weekly Jobless Claims Drop, Adds Base for Strong Employment Report Friday

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179125086The U.S. Department of Labor released the latest weekly jobless claims figures Thursday morning. The reading came to 287,000, which was below the Bloomberg consensus of 297,000. The weekly jobless claims for last week were revised to 295,000.

The four-week moving average posted a reading of 294,750, which fell 4,250 from the previous level of 299,000. This reading is nearly 10,000 below the month-ago average by comparison.

Continuing claims, which lag by a week, fell 45,000 to 2.398 million. The reading for continuing claims is a new recovery low, as well as the unemployment rate for insured workers, which remains at 1.8%.

The fewer number of workers drawing unemployment benefits implies that a solid improvement is underway in the labor market. That goes without saying, and any time the reading is under 300,000 it is deemed good for the jobs market.

Looking at previous readings, the initial jobless claims rose 12,000 in the September 20 week, but followed only a revised 35,000 plunge in the prior week, which was the sample week for the government's monthly employment report.

This reading should at a minimum keep a base of confidence for Friday's employment report.

  • Nonfarm payrolls expected to be 215,000 (up 73,000)
  • Private payrolls expected to be 215,000 (up 81,000)
  • Unemployment expected to be 6.1% (flat)
  • Average hourly earnings up 0.2% (flat)
  • Average workweek 34.5 hours (flat)

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Filed under: Economy
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