Skip to comments.Jobless claims fall slightly in Thanksgiving week, layoffs remain near 45-year low
Posted on 11/30/2017 8:42:05 AM PST by SeekAndFind
Initial jobless claims drop 2,000 to 238,000; Puerto Rico plunge
The numbers: Initial U.S. jobless claims, a tool to measure layoffs, fell by 2,000 to 238,000 in the seven days ended Nov. 25, a week that included the Thanksgiving holiday. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had forecast claims to total 240,000.
The more stable monthly average of claims rose 2,250 to 242,250, the government said Thursday.
The number of people already collecting unemployment benefits, known as continuing claims, increased by 42,000 to 1.96 million.
What happened: New applications for unemployment benefits have subsided to a nearly 45-year low after a mini-surge in the early fall tied to a trio of hurricanes that battered the southern U.S. and Caribbean territories.
In Puerto Rico, for instance, raw claims sank 57% to return close to normal levels for the island.
Big picture: Couldn't get much better. Unemployment is at a 17-year low, and as a result, consumer confidence is at a 17-year high. Virtually anyone willing to work can find a job nowadays, though job seekers shouldn't expect a big payday. Wages still aren't growing very rapidly.
The strongest labor market in more than a decade in a half is likely to fuel higher home sales and household spending, boosting the economy for months to come.
More immediately, the best holiday shopping season in years could also be in the cards.
What they are saying?: The very low level of jobless claims "continue to signal enough strength in employment growth to keep the unemployment rate trending down," said Jim O'Sullivan, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics.
Market reaction: Mild. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 index opened higher in Thursday trades and the Dow set a fresh record.
I find that odd.
Just give it a little more time. Wages will rise and usually lag behind other indicators.
Labor participation rates aren’t climbing, either.
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