Jobless Claims in the U.S. were little changed as the labor market appears to be stabilizing
Housing Starts in the U.S. fell in July and during the same period building permits reached a Four-Year High
Initial Jobless Claims
Housing Starts MOM
Building Permits MOM
The number of Americans filing applications for unemployment benefits was little changed last week, bringing the average over the past month to the lowest
level since late March, a sign the labor market has stabilized after employment picked up in July. The median forecast of 45 economists surveyed by
Bloomberg News called for an increase to 365,000. The four-week moving average, a less volatile measure, dropped to 363,750, the fewest since the week ended March 31.
There is some evidence that employers may be limiting firings as the pace of sales warrants keeping current staff levels, but they are resisting expansion of hiring. A pickup in demand and an agreement to forestall the fiscal cliff of tax increases and government spending cuts following the presidential election will probably be needed to induce an increase in hiring.
New-home construction in the U.S. fell in July, while the number of building permits jumped to the highest level in four years, indicating the industry will keep
improving in the second half of the year. Starts fell 1.1 percent to a 746,000 annual rate from June’s 754,000 pace. The median estimate of 79 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for 756,000. Building permits, a proxy for future construction, rose to an 812,000 pace, the most since August 2008.
Assistant State Treasurer
Chief Investment Officer
State of Louisiana
Department of the Treasury