US Jobless Claims at 28-year Lows

A decline in U.S. jobless-benefit rolls to a 28-year low adds to signs of a tight labor market, as initial unemployment claims also remained subdued, Labor Department figures showed Thursday.

Highlights of Jobless Claims (Week Ended May 6)

• Initial jobless claims decreased by 2,000 to 236,000 (forecast was 245,000)

• Continuing claims fell by 61,000 to 1.918 mln week ended April 29 (data reported with one-week lag)

• Four-week average of initial claims, a less-volatile measure than the weekly figure, was little changed at 243,500 from 243,000 in the prior week

Key Takeaways

The decline in jobless-benefit rolls dovetails with a drop in the unemployment rate, signaling the labor market continues to strengthen. Initial claims have been below 300,000 since early 2015, rounding out the overall picture of solid economic growth. The continued evidence of a tight labor market is supporting forecasts the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates again next month.

Other Details

• Prior week’s reading was unrevised at 238,000

• The unemployment rate among people eligible for benefits was unchanged at 1.4 percent

• Louisiana was the only state with estimated claims last week

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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