US Jobless Claims Jump

More Americans than forecast filed applications for unemployment benefits last week, indicating the labor market continues to struggle.

Jobless claims decreased by 2,000 to 387,000 in the week ended June 16, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. The median forecast of 45 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for 383,000. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, climbed to the highest of the year.

The level of dismissals may raise concern the slowdown in payrolls reported in the past few months will be prolonged, limiting consumer spending. Federal Reserve policy makers yesterday expanded a program to replace short-term bonds with longer-term debt in a bid to spur growth and trim a jobless rate that’s exceeded 8 percent for 40 consecutive months.

“Momentum is slowing,” said Ryan Wang, an economist at HSBC Securities USA Inc. in New York, the only economist in the Bloomberg survey to correctly forecast the level of claims. “Companies have curtailed demand for labor. This means less income growth. That’s a restraint on consumer spending.”

Stock-index futures were little changed after the report. The contract on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index maturing in September rose 0.1 percent to 1,351.8 at 8:41 a.m. in New York.

Estimates in the Bloomberg survey ranged from 371,000 to 390,000. The Labor Department revised the previous week’s figure up to 389,000 from an initially reported 386,000.

Bloomberg

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Dean Popplewell

Dean Popplewell

Vice-President of Market Analysis at MarketPulse
Dean Popplewell has nearly two decades of experience trading currencies and fixed income instruments. He has a deep understanding of market fundamentals and the impact of global events on capital markets. He is respected among professional traders for his skilled analysis and career history as global head of trading for firms such as Scotia Capital and BMO Nesbitt Burns. Since joining OANDA in 2006, Dean has played an instrumental role in driving awareness of the forex market as an emerging asset class for retail investors, as well as providing expert counsel to a number of internal teams on how to best serve clients and industry stakeholders.
Dean Popplewell