Claims Data Shatters Market Expectations! Here's What the Market Needs to Know


The number of Americans filing new jobless claims surprisingly fell last week, indicating that labor market conditions remain strong.

Initial claims for state jobless benefits fell 5,000 to a seasonally adjusted 207,000 for the week ended April 20, the Labor Department said on Thursday.

Economists interviewed by Reuters forecast 215,000 claims in the latest week. Claims have been recorded in the range of 194,000 to 225,000 this year.

Companies are holding onto their workers after having difficulty finding labor during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, and enjoying higher profits due to high pricing power. Low job losses support high wage growth, sustaining consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of economic activity.

The number of people receiving benefits after one week of aid, a proxy for hiring, fell 15,000 to 1.781 million during the week ended April 13, according to the claims report.

Continuous claims data covers the period when the government conducted a household survey for April's unemployment rate. Claims continued to decline between the March and April survey periods. The unemployment rate declined to 3.8% in March from 3.9% in February.