Unemployment claims at five-week low show resilient US job market

Dec 07 2017 15:44
Shobhana Chandra, Bloomberg

Washington - Applications for unemployment benefits in the US declined to a five-week low, consistent with a resilient labour market, Labour Department figures showed on Thursday.

Highlights of jobless claims (Week ended December 2)

• Jobless claims decreased by 2k to 236k (est. 240k).

• Four-week average, a less-volatile measure than the weekly figure, dropped to 241 500 from the prior week’s 242 250.

• Continuing claims fell by 52k to 1.91m in week ended November 25 (data reported with one-week lag)

Key takeaways

Applications for jobless benefits below the 300 000 are considered consistent with a steady job market. Claims hovering near the lowest level in more than four decades also show employers are reluctant to reduce staff amid the current shortage of qualified workers.

A report on Friday is projected to show payrolls increased by almost 200 000 in November, while the jobless rate held at an almost 17-year low of 4.1%.

Other details

• Unemployment rate among people eligible for benefits held at 1.4%.

• The Labour Department said jobless claims were estimated for the Virgin Islands as the territory continues to recover from hurricanes Irma and Maria months ago.

• Claims-taking process in Puerto Rico has also still not returned to normal, Labour said.

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us  |  economy  |  unemployment


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