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U.S. Jobless Claims Fell to Lowest in a Year as Rebound Gathers Momentum

Economic IndicatorsMar 25, 2021 08:38AM ET
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© Reuters.

By Geoffrey Smith 

Investing.com -- The U.S. labor market’s healing process appeared to pick up speed last week, as the number of people filing initial claims for jobless benefits fell to its lowest level in almost a year.

The Department of Labor said that initial jobless claims fell to 684,000 from 781,000 the previous week. Last week’s figure was revised up slightly from an initial estimate of 770,000.

The number of continuing claims also fell by some 260,000 to 3.87 million, its lowest since March last year.

The data on continuing claims are reported with a one-week lag to initial claims.

That is also true of the broader dataset that covers all people claiming unemployment-related benefit claims. That dataset showed a less positive development, with the overall number of claimants rising by 734,000 to 18.95 million.  

"The gentle downward trend in place since late January is intact," said Ian Shepherdson, chief economist with Pantheon Macroeconomics, in emailed comments.  However, he warned the pace of gross layoffs remains alarmingly high, above the 655,000 peak seend after the 2008 crash.

"The rate of gross job losses, presumably concentrated in the consumer services sector, remains depressingly rapid.  We’re guessing that each week sees some firms either downsizing further or throwing in the towel, unable to hang on until the economy reopens," Shepherdson said, adding that "this gradual attrition should not last much longer: we expect claims to fall sharply as the economy reopens fully across the second quarter."

The numbers were released at the same time as the government issued its final reading for economic growth in the fourth quarter. Gross domestic product growth was revised up slightly to an annualized rate of 4.3% from 4.1%, but the more important development was arguably a sharp slowdown in prices for core personal expenditures, the Federal Reserve's preferred measure of inflation. Core PCE prices rose only 1.3% on the year in the fourth quarter, below expectations for 1.4%. However, the third-quarter's data were revised up to a gain of 3.4%. 

 
 
U.S. Jobless Claims Fell to Lowest in a Year as Rebound Gathers Momentum
 

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Comments (10)
Tre Hsi
Tre Hsi Mar 25, 2021 10:50AM ET
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The number of continuing claims also fell by some 260,000 to 3.87 million, its lowest since March last year.--- the 3.87m number is more important than the headline number
Whaling Trawler
Whaling Trawler Mar 25, 2021 10:21AM ET
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We've got to get china to flip our burgers for us while we take our factory jobs back..
Tre Hsi
Tre Hsi Mar 25, 2021 10:21AM ET
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you have mexicans who want to flip your burgers but you won't let them in.....
Casador Del Oso
Casador Del Oso Mar 25, 2021 10:00AM ET
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Rebound ?!?!? more like a dribble
Tre Hsi
Tre Hsi Mar 25, 2021 10:00AM ET
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if Trump is still president he would be tweeting about what a great job he is doing......
Devonta Whitworth
Devonta Whitworth Mar 25, 2021 9:22AM ET
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Lol a burger king hiring sign lol thats economic growth alright lol food
Michael Angelo
Michael Angelo Mar 25, 2021 9:21AM ET
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The reaction id simple, if we have good jobless claims means the economy is healing . Means more demand, prices up, rates up and no necessary help from fed. Basically could be the start of the recovery. Means no more extraordinary help.
Dave Jones
Dave Jones Mar 25, 2021 9:11AM ET
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what a load of rubbish!
Dhia Betar
Dhia Betar Mar 25, 2021 9:11AM ET
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you cant fool all the people all the time !
Bhagwan Dass
Bhagwan Dass Mar 25, 2021 9:04AM ET
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everyone says share Market go up. free income.
Sanjeev Kumar Choudhary
Sanjeev Kumar Choudhary Mar 25, 2021 8:58AM ET
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this digit number in every city of India
Dionte Edwards
Dionte Edwards Mar 25, 2021 8:53AM ET
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So 736,000 unemployed is supposed to be a good thing or better than the last report. Oh please, yellow journalism.
Dionte Edwards
Dionte Edwards Mar 25, 2021 8:53AM ET
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684,000*
Victor Menken
Victor Menken Mar 25, 2021 8:46AM ET
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But markets are going fown regardless))
Sasa Martiena
ONELOFF Mar 25, 2021 8:46AM ET
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Lets wait for CPI and see what happens.
Victor Menken
Victor Menken Mar 25, 2021 8:46AM ET
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Sasa Martiena i think it is going to be tomorrow
 
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