The Latest Claims Data Gives a Clearer Sign of the Labor Market!


 The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits reportedly fell last week as the labor market continued to show few signs of a significant slowdown.

Initial claims for jobless benefits fell 3,000 to an adjusted 217,000 for the week ended Nov. 4 from 220,000, the Labor Department reported on Thursday. Economists interviewed by Reuters had forecast 218,000 claims for the latest week.

Data last week showed that the job market is slowing, with hiring slowing and unemployment rising to 3.9% in October. However, this figure is still low compared to previous data. A separate report showed that there were 1.5 job offers for every unemployed person in September, down from about 2 to 1 when the job market was tightest last year.

The US central bank kept interest rates on hold last week but remains open to further increases in borrowing costs in recognition of economic resilience. Since March 2022, the Fed has increased the policy rate by 525 basis points to the current range of 5.25%-5.50%.

The number of people receiving benefits rose to 1.834 million in the week ending October 28, the highest level since April. Those persistent claims have picked up in recent weeks, but economists say most of that reflects the difficulty of adjusting data for volatility rather than significant changes in underlying trends.