US Unemployment Claims Fell Last Week

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell from a five-month high last week, pointing to labor strength that underscores the economy’s sustained momentum.

A tight labor market together with signs of a strengthening economy and steadily rising inflation will likely push the Federal Reserve to hike interest rates next week.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 258,000 for the week ended Dec. 3, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Claims for the prior week were unrevised.

It was the 92nd straight week that claims were below 300,000, a threshold associated with a healthy labor market. That is the longest stretch since 1970, when the labor market was much smaller.

U.S. financial markets were largely unmoved by the data as investors focused on the European Central Bank’s unexpected decision to cut its asset purchases starting in April.

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