x
Breaking News
0

U.S. jobless claims decline for third straight week

Economic IndicatorsDec 07, 2017 09:13AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: People wait in line to attend TechFair LA, a technology job fair, in Los Angeles

By Lucia Mutikani

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, suggesting a rapid tightening of the labor market that bolsters expectations the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates next week.

While another report on Thursday showed layoffs announced by U.S.-based employers rising to a seven-month high in November, the overall trend in job cuts remained low.

"Layoffs on the part of corporations are few and far between as good help is hard to find this far along in one of the longest economic expansions in the record books," said Chris Rupkey, chief economist at MUFG in New York.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits slipped 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 236,000 for the week ended Dec. 2, the Labor Department said on Thursday. It was the third straight weekly decline in claims.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims rising to 240,000 in the latest week. Last week marked the 144th straight week that claims remained below the 300,000 threshold, which is associated with a strong labor market. That is the longest such stretch since 1970, when the labor market was smaller.

The labor market is near full employment, with the jobless rate at a 17-year low of 4.1 percent. Labor market tightness is seen encouraging the Fed to hike interest rates at the Dec. 12-13 policy meeting. The U.S. central bank has increased borrowing costs twice this year.

U.S. financial markets were little moved by the data as investors awaited November's employment report due to be published on Friday.

According to a Reuters survey of economists, nonfarm payrolls probably increased by 200,000 in November after surging 261,000 in October. Job growth in October was boosted by the return to work of thousands of employees, mostly in low-wage industries like hospitality and retail, who had been temporarily dislocated by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

The unemployment rate is forecast unchanged in November. It has declined by seven-tenths of a percentage point this year.

A Labor Department official said claims-taking procedures continued to be disrupted in the Virgin Islands months after Hurricanes Irma and Maria battered the islands. He said claims processing in Puerto Rico was still not back to normal.

The Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico are not included in the monthly payrolls report.

Last week, the four-week moving average of initial claims, considered a better measure of labor market trends as it irons out week-to-week volatility, edged down 750 to 241,500.

"It's signaling an extreme reluctance on the part of employers to lay off workers," said John Ryding, chief economist at RDQ Economics in New York.

The claims report also showed the number of people receiving benefits after an initial week of aid fell 52,000 to 1.91 million in the week ended Nov. 25. The four-week moving average of the so-called continuing claims rose 1,000 to 1.91 million.

In a separate report, global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas said U.S.-based employers announced plans to cut payrolls by 35,038 jobs in November.

That was the most in seven months and was up 17 percent from October. The trend in layoffs, however, remains low. Employers have announced 386,347 job cuts through November, down 22 percent compared to the same period last year and the lowest since 1997.

U.S. jobless claims decline for third straight week
 

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind: 

  • Enrich the conversation
  • Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed.
  • Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically.
  •  Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and links within a comment will be removed
  • Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user.
  • Don’t Monopolize the Conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also believe strongly in giving everyone a chance to air their thoughts. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Write your thoughts here
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Post
Post also to:
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Post 1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email