The number of Americans filing applications for jobless benefits fell more than expected last week, pointing to sustained labor market strength that could further assuage concerns about the economy’s health.
The report from the Labor Department on Thursday followed data last week showing employers hired the most workers in 10 months in December and increased wages.
Surveys showing steep declines in consumer and manufacturing activity in December had stoked fears that the economy was rapidly losing momentum against the backdrop of tightening financial market conditions and slowing global growth.
“There are increasing risks and caution over the economic outlook in 2019, but jobless claims say the seas are calm and it looks to be smooth sailing for the economy for now,” said Chris Rupkey, chief economist at MUFG in New York.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell 17,000 to a seasonally adjusted 216,000 for the week ended Jan. 5. Data for the prior week was revised up to show 2,000 more applications received than previously reported.
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.