US Jobless Claims Dip As Layoffs Reach 17 Year Low

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell last week and job cuts declined sharply in December, suggesting the labor market is tightening.

Thursday’s reports support views of faster growth this year, driven by consumer spending, despite a faltering global economy.

“Labor market conditions continue to improve, providing support for consumers and contributing to a virtuous cycle for the economy,” said Jim Baird, chief investment officer at Plante Moran Financial Advisors in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

 
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits slipped by 4,000 to a seasonally adjusted 294,000 for the week ended Jan. 3, the Labor Department said.

While that was a bit less than Wall Street’s expectations of a drop to 290,000, the trend in claims remained consistent with a steadily tightening labor market. At current levels, claims probably have little room to fall further.

“Claims have never dropped below the 280,000-290,000 range in the last 20 years, reflecting the reality that a certain number of layoffs is a natural part of the growth/lifecycle of companies even in the best of times,” said Anthony Karydakis, chief economic strategist at Millar Tabak in New York.

via Reuters

This article is for general information purposes only. It is not investment advice or a solution to buy or sell securities. Opinions are the authors; not necessarily that of OANDA Corporation or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, officers or directors. Leveraged trading is high risk and not suitable for all. You could lose all of your deposited funds.

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