US Employment Continues To Improve as Claims Fall

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell last week from a seven-month high, pointing to continued improvement in labor market conditions.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits slipped 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 307,000 for the week ended Jan. 17, the Labor Department said on Thursday.

That reversed the bulk of the prior week’s increase which had pushed claims to their highest level since early June, but fell short of economists expectations for a 300,000 reading.

 
Economists had dismissed the prior week’s increase as “noise” given that claims data is difficult to adjust for seasonal variations around the holidays. Some, however, wondered if some of the elevation in claims reflected layoffs in the oil industry in the wake of plunging crude prices.

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