US weekly jobless claims fall more than expected

Marco Green
August 22, 2019

A man carrying a stack of job listings listens to a discussion at the One Stop employment centre in San Francisco August 12, 2009.

Jobless claims decreased by 12,000 to 209,000 in the week ended August 17, according to Labor Department figures released Thursday that fell below all estimates in Bloomberg's survey of economists. Firms clearly are nervous about the economic outlook, as demonstrated by the drop in capex intentions in the NFIB survey, but the tightness of the labour market means that employers are reluctant to make layoffs.

Filings for USA unemployment benefits dropped to a four-week low, offering the latest sign of labor-market strength.

Growth in manufacturer jobs has slowed this year, there are few indications that the trade war between China and the US was affecting the national labor market.

While hiring has cooled, the pace of job gains remains well above the roughly 100,000 needed per month to keep up with growth in the working-age population. The trade war has ignited concerns from investors and may have indicated a recession may be around the corner for the USA economy.

During the Fed policy meeting last month suggested that policymakers were not united over the interest rate cut.

Initial jobless claims fell by 12,000 from the previous week's revised level to 209,000, versus expectations for a decline to 216,000. The four-week average, a less-volatile measure, ticked up by 500 to 214,500.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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