Jobless Claims in U.S. Decrease to Lowest Level in a Month!
And that’s news.
Fewer Americans than forecast filed applications for unemployment benefits last week, sort of easing some concerns that the job market was taking a turn for the worse.
Jobless claims fell by 27,000 to 365,000 in the week ended April 28, a one-month low, from a revised 392,000 the prior period. The median forecast of 46 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for 379,000 applications.
The plunge in dismissals makes it more likely that the surge over the past three weeks was caused by the timing of the Easter holiday rather than a deterioration in employment.
Or at least that is one possible explanation.
Now all economic attention shifts to a report tomorrow may show the U.S. added 160,000 jobs in April, compared with a gain of 120,000 the previous month, according to the median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg. The jobless rate is predicted to hold at a three-year low of 8.2 percent, the survey showed.
The productivity of U.S. workers fell in the first quarter, indicating businesses are reaching the limit of how much efficiency they can wring from the workforce, another report from the Labor Department also showed today. The measure of employee output per hour declined at a 0.5 percent annual rate, after a 1.2 percent gain in the prior three months.
Estimates for jobless claims in the Bloomberg survey ranged from 360,000 to 400,000. The Labor Department revised the previous week’s figure from 388,000. Last week’s plunge was the biggest since May 2011.
A Labor Department spokesman said there was nothing unusual in the data last week. The government often has difficulty adjusting the figures for seasonal variations around holidays
like Easter that shift from year to year.
Assistant State Treasurer
Chief Investment Officer
State of Louisiana
Department of the Treasury