23 July 2019

Weekly Unemployment Claims Hits Six-Year Low

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New claims for unemployment benefits hit a six-year low last week indicating that the job market may be picking up. The Department of Labor reported initial claims for benefits fell by 15,000 to a seasonally-adjusted 320,000, the lowest level since October 2007.

With this week’s data, the four-week moving average for new claims fell by 4,000 to 332,000. This four-week average smoothes out week-to-week volatility and is at its lowest level since November 2007.

The drop in both new applications and the four-week average may indicate an overall improvement in the labor market after hiring had slowed slightly in July.  The job market is being monitored closely since the Fed has indicated that it will use unemployment data as its barometer for ending the bond-purchase program. Previous statements by the Fed indicate it will cease its $85 billion monthly bond purchases when unemployment hits 7.0 percent. When the scaling back of that program starts is dependent on the employment data, and the Fed has indicated that it will start tapering this year.

Click here for the full report from the Department of Labor.

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