US Jobless Claims Fall to 14 Year Low

The number of Americans filing new claims for jobless benefits fell to a 14-year low last week, a positive signal that could counter doubts over whether the economy is shifting into a higher gear.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 23,000 to a seasonally adjusted 264,000, the lowest level since 2000, the Labor Department said on Thursday.

The decline suggests the labor market is gaining steam even as worries grow that the economy will not be strong enough for the Federal Reserve to hike interest rates around the middle of next year.

 
Weak retail sales data on Wednesday shook investor convictions over the path of Fed policy and helped fuel a global sell-off in financial markets that continued on Thursday. U.S. stock futures declined even after the claims data.

The report nonetheless reinforces expectations that slack in the labor market is being reduced, which would push the Fed closer to raising rates.

via Reuters

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza