Jobless Claims Decrease More Than Estimated to 211,000

Marco Green
November 8, 2019

Jobless claims fell by 8,000 to 211,000 in the week ended November 2, according to Labor Department figures released November 7. Data for the prior week was revised to show 1,000 more applications received than previously reported.

Filings for US unemployment benefits declined more than expected to reach a four-week low, another sign that a resilient labor market continues to underpin the economy. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expected jobless claims to clock in at 215,000.

Because jobless claims are a proxy for layoffs, they have been closely watched for signs that economic conditions-including tariffs, the UAW General Motors strike, or the contraction in the manufacturing sector-are costing jobs for American workers. Employment grew faster than expected in October, with firms adding 128,000 jobs, even though a strike by workers at General Motors idled 46,000 employees at the automaker's plants in MI and Kentucky. Fed Chair Jerome Powell acknowledged some moderation in the pace of job growth this year, but said "the job market remains strong".

Secondary unemployment claims meanwhile, which are those that are not being filed for the first time and reference the period two weeks before, until 26 October, dipped by 3,000 to 1.689.0m. The four-week average, a less-volatile measure, was little changed at 215,250.

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