Claims for Jobless Benefits in U.S. Fall More Than Forecast
Initial Jobless Claims for unemployment benefits in the U.S. declined to the lowest level in almost two months, showing further healing in the labor market. Jobless claims in the week ended Nov. 16 dropped by 21,000 to 323,000, the fewest since the week ended Sept. 28, from a revised 344,000 the previous week. The median forecast of 47 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a drop to 335,000. Last week included the Veterans’ Day holiday, which makes adjusting the data for seasonal swings more difficult. Economists’ estimates in the Bloomberg survey ranged from 323,000 to 360,000. The prior week’s claims were revised up from an initial reading of 339,000.
Rising sales going into the holiday-shopping period will probably prompt employers to keep current workers on staff to meet demand. Fewer firings may also lead to bigger gains in hiring that will help boost consumer spending, which accounts for almost 70 percent of the economy. I am a glass half full kind of guy.
The number of people continuing to receive jobless benefits increased by 66,000 to 2.876 million in the week ended Nov. 9. Continuing Claims came in at 2,876,000, versus the previous periods 2,810,000. Economists’ estimates called for 2,870,000 in Continuing Claims. Continuing claims don’t include Americans who have exhausted their traditional state aid and are receiving emergency and extended benefits under federal programs. Those job seekers decreased by about 32,200 to 1.3 million in the week ended Nov. 2.
Another report today showed wholesale prices dropped in October for a second month, showing inflation remains tame. The 0.2 percent decrease in the Producer Price Index followed a 0.1 percent fall the prior month. The decline matched the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of 75 economists. The so-called core measure, which strips out volatile food and fuel, climbed 0.2 percent after a 0.1 percent gain in September.
Initial Jobless Claims
PPI Ex Food and Energy MoM
PPI Ex Food and Energy YoY
Assistant State Treasurer
Chief Investment Officer
State of Louisiana
Department of the Treasury