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U.S, Labor Market Slows Further as Initial Jobless Claims Hit 885,000

Economic IndicatorsDec 17, 2020 08:36AM ET
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© Reuters

By Geoffrey Smith 

Investing.com -- The number of people filing initial claims for jobless benefits rose again to a new three-month high last week, indicating that the pace of layoffs due to the latest wave of the coronavirus pandemic is accelerating.

The Labor Department said 885,000 initial claims were filed last week, and revised the previous week’s number up by 12,000 to 865,000. Economists had counted on a decline to 800,000.

That’s the highest level since early September. The news comes a day after figures showing that retail sales fell 1.1% in November, their first monthly decline in six months.  Together, the figures show a clear loss of momentum in the economy under pressure from a pandemic that has gained in strength with the onset of winter and with the increased transmission opportunities created by the election campaign and the holiday shopping season.

The number of people filing continuing jobless claims fell however, to 5.508 million from an upwardly revised 5.781 million. That was bigger than the expected drop, but economists warned against seeing it as a sign of improvement. 

"The drop in continuing claims is not a sign of improving labor market conditions," said Diane Swonk, chief economist with Grant Thornton, via Twitter. "Long-term unemployed are running out of benefits and shifting into special pandemic insurance, which is slated to expire unless Congress acts before year end."

There was further evidence of the slowdown as the Philadelphia Federal Reserve's monthly business survey showed a sharp drop in its main manufacturing index to 11.1 from 26.3, with declines in all of its sub-indices: prices paid, employment and new orders

However, there was slightly better news from the housing market, which has been a source relative of strength all through the pandemic. The number of housing starts rose 1.2% on the month to 1.547 million, their highest since March. Building permits, meanwhile, rose 6.2% on the month to their highest in over 12 years.

U.S, Labor Market Slows Further as Initial Jobless Claims Hit 885,000
 

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Comments (23)
Glenn Ebersole
Glenn Ebersole Dec 17, 2020 2:55PM ET
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And the markets could care less. Like the China Trade deal pumped up the markets every time someone said a deal was in the works and then never happened. Investors continue to be delusion without rhyme or reason.
Anthony Anthony
Anthony Anthony Dec 17, 2020 1:42PM ET
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Look at the massive number of losers we have in US.
Chris Mallory
Chris Mallory Dec 17, 2020 1:42PM ET
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that would be the 6.7% who don't want to work. Millions of jobs available
ian Hawksworth
BigAl Dec 17, 2020 11:08AM ET
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Its a fed fuelled party S&P not even reacting to jobless claims or the state of the Economy. Its all rigged so the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.  what a scam
Chris Mallory
Chris Mallory Dec 17, 2020 11:08AM ET
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I heard that same dusty speech at Purdue when R3agan was president..
Yaman Bak
Yaman Bak Dec 17, 2020 11:08AM ET
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Relax it will correct big time then its time for you to make money
Jack Zhang
Jack_A Dec 17, 2020 10:20AM ET
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printing doesn't solve problems.
Gamer Turtle
GamerTurtle Dec 17, 2020 10:20AM ET
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fed goes: well then we just gotta print more.
Ernie Keebler
Ernie Keebler Dec 17, 2020 10:13AM ET
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The fed buys big company bonds infusing cash, the companies buy their own shares back and give them to the co. Execs in huge bonuses. Think who's winning here! The average worker or unemployed carry very little stock. The biggest wealth transfer in history.
Thom Miller
Thom Miller Dec 17, 2020 10:13AM ET
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That’s Donny for ya!! Soon to change!
Jeff Gordon
Jeff Gordon Dec 17, 2020 9:43AM ET
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someday the 2020 market explosion and coming crash will live on in history books for eternity
Jeff Gordon
Jeff Gordon Dec 17, 2020 9:43AM ET
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students will read and wonder how we didn't see it
Sheldon Cooper
Sheldon Cooper Dec 17, 2020 9:43AM ET
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I want my shirt: “I knew 2020/2021 crash before you”
Jon Bal
Jon Bal Dec 17, 2020 9:25AM ET
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high prices = cause of cheap dollar not high value.
James Bell
James Bell Dec 17, 2020 9:24AM ET
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Too late for stimulus...A resuscitated patient who achieves a stable condition on full life support can’t really be called recovered.
Damian Ciceri
Damian Ciceri Dec 17, 2020 9:21AM ET
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Americans need to wake up already and see your government doesn't care about you, they never have, stop depending on corrupt politicians who only align their self interests. they continue to collect their huge federal pay checks while the country suffers and waits for a stimulus that may never show up or that will take months to arrive.
Rajesh Kumar
Rajesh Kumar Dec 17, 2020 9:21AM ET
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we don't need stimulus checks
Nostra Damus
Nostra Damus Dec 17, 2020 9:16AM ET
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When is it supposed to have the final decision of simulus in/out??
Franco Dominguez
Franco Dominguez Dec 17, 2020 9:11AM ET
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where is the ****stimulus?
Joanna Yin
Joanna Yin Dec 17, 2020 9:04AM ET
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More free money ~ stimulus, heard this word over months this year. US stock market is hoax.
Damian Ciceri
Damian Ciceri Dec 17, 2020 9:04AM ET
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stimulus money isnt free, your lovely government will make America pay it back in future taxation. no such thing as free money
Ti Jo Go
Ti Jo Go Dec 17, 2020 9:03AM ET
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stocks have been dropping since news of vaccine approval....wth...does not make sense huge sales of stocks..I think its investment companies getting out creating an artificial market.
Tom Dylan
ThePaleTzu Dec 17, 2020 9:03AM ET
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ita all a hoax...it will be gone in april...its only the flu....I like to downplay things...I have the best brain and only use the best words...
Wrongway Whiplash
Wrongway Whiplash Dec 17, 2020 9:03AM ET
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lol..
Rajesh Kumar
Rajesh Kumar Dec 17, 2020 8:47AM ET
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Stock market keeps going up. Nothing matters, no sanity exists anymore. Today also stock market will close with gain of over 0.5% . Tech stocks are even more notorious. I wonder who is buying at such p/e levels. Total insanity. All news channel reports, market has been up in anticipation of vaccine and stimulus checks. it is extremely perplexing to see how the market has been behaving since US Presidential election.
Ronald Warren
Ronald Warren Dec 17, 2020 8:47AM ET
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Humans aren't running up the prices. Algos pay the ask.
Gemechu Feyissa
Gemechu Feyissa Dec 17, 2020 8:47AM ET
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HI ! I am here
Mitchel Pioneer
Mitchel Pioneer Dec 17, 2020 8:46AM ET
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The criminal, financial dismantling of America continues.  The US stock market is the laughingstock of the financial world.
irfan ameer
irfan ameer Dec 17, 2020 8:43AM ET
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good news- finally :D to the moon now
Nostra Damus
Nostra Damus Dec 17, 2020 8:43AM ET
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I hope you will land like the Elon's missiles
Ross Dre
Ross Dre Dec 17, 2020 8:43AM ET
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Yet assets will continue to new high after new high because our federal reserve will always keep handing out free money to the ones that don’t need it.
Bryan Barba
Bryan Barba Dec 17, 2020 8:43AM ET
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facts
Sheldon Cooper
Sheldon Cooper Dec 17, 2020 8:42AM ET
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Good news for the bullish!
Kristof Naessens
Kristof Naessens Dec 17, 2020 8:41AM ET
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And congress is still arguing to help the people. If the congressmen/woman's stockportfolio would go down, stimulus would be there within 24 hours! Sad but true.
Wrongway Whiplash
Wrongway Whiplash Dec 17, 2020 8:41AM ET
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Well said, Sir
Matt Kay
Matt Kay Dec 17, 2020 8:41AM ET
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Bullish! DOW 40k! We dont need no people working. Just keep printing money...
Mister Burns
Mister Burns Dec 17, 2020 8:40AM ET
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So another + 300 on the dji?? 💵🖨️
Tie Siv
Tie Siv Dec 17, 2020 8:40AM ET
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wing
 
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