Tuesday, 25 September, 2018

USA unemployment claims plummet to 45-year low

USA unemployment claims plummet to 45-year low USA unemployment claims plummet to 45-year low
Russell Knight | 09 February, 2018, 02:04

"The extremely low level of claims is a sign of tightness in the labor market and suggests that February is shaping up to be another solid month for job creation", said John Ryding, chief economist at RDQ Economics in NY.

What happened: Missouri, California and NY saw big declines in unadjusted jobless claims, but in most states there was little change.

The numbers: Initial U.S. jobless claims fell by 9,000 to 221,000 in the seven days ended Feb 3.

US jobless claims have now been under the key 300,000 threshold that signals a vibrant labor market for 153 straight weeks.

The broader labor market has exhibited tightness recently.

Unemployment, which at 4.1 percent is a 17-year low, is expected to drop into the mid-3 percent range this year.

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The statistics show earnings also increased in January, the third consecutive monthly rise in the average hourly earnings - a 2.9 percent increase - according to Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta. Last month alone, 200,000 new jobs were added domestically, including 36,000 in construction.

The Fed has forecast three rate increases for this year after lifting borrowing costs three times in 2017. "The Fed may be out of step with current economic conditions and behind the curve".

The four-week moving average, a steadier measure, fell by 10,000 to 224,500 last week, the lowest level since the beginning of 1973.

The number of people already collecting unemployment benefits, known as continuing claims, dropped by 33,000 to 1.92 million.

Meanwhile, continuing claims for the week ended 27 January also dropped to 1.923 million from an upwardly revised 1.956 million.

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