Falling U.S. Jobless Claims Add to Signs of Labor Tightness

The U.S. labor market continues to show signs of tightening, with unemployment claims declining for the third straight week and benefit rolls matching the lowest level since 1973, Labor Department data showed Thursday.

HIGHLIGHTS OF JOBLESS CLAIMS (WEEK ENDED MAY 13)

Initial benefit filings decreased by 4k to 232k (est. 240k), the lowest since late February
Continuing claims fell by 22k to 1.898m in week ended May 6 (data reported with one-week lag)
Four-week average of initial claims declined to 240,750 from 243,500 in the prior week
Key Takeaways

Hiring managers remain more occupied with finding workers than trimming staff, with the headline jobless rate drifting below the Federal Reserve’s estimate of full employment. Benefit claims have been a particularly durable indicator of tightness in the labor market, with initial filings holding at lower than 300,000 for more than two years. The gauge contributes to Fed policy makers’ case that the economy can withstand further increases in the benchmark interest rate this year.

Other Details

  • Previous week’s initial claims were unrevised
  • Unemployment rate among people eligible for benefits unchanged at 1.4 percent
  • Louisiana had estimated claims last week
  • 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