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Offbeat U.S. weekly jobless claims fall to two-month low

15:51  12 july  2018
15:51  12 july  2018 Source:   reuters.com

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Weekly jobless claims down 10K to 210,000 8:57 AM ET Thu, 1 March 2018 | 03:20. The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week , hitting the lowest level in more than 48 years, pointing to a rapidly tightening labor market.

New applications for U . S . unemployment benefits dropped to their lowest level in more than 48 years last week , suggesting that March’s slowdown in job growth was probably temporary. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims falling to 230,000 in the latest week .

a group of people standing in a room: Job seekers and recruiters gather at TechFair in Los Angeles © REUTERS/Monica Almeida Job seekers and recruiters gather at TechFair in Los Angeles The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell more than expected last week, hitting a two-month low, in a sign that labor market conditions remained robust in early July.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 18,000 to a seasonally adjusted 214,000 for the week ended July 7, the lowest level since early May, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Claims data for the prior week was revised to show 1,000 more applications received than previously reported.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims falling to 225,000 in the latest week.

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The number of Americans filing new claims for jobless benefits fell last week to the lowest level in two months , a hopeful sign for a labor market that has struggled to gain traction in recent months.

The number of Americans filing for unemployment unexpectedly fell last week , hitting a three- month low as the labor market gathers momentum. A Labor Department analyst said there were no special factors influencing last week ' s claims data and no states had been estimated.

Last week's data included the Independence Day holiday, which this year fell on a Wednesday, which could have thrown off the model that the government uses to the smooth the claims data for seasonal fluctuations. That probably contributed to the big drop in applications.

The Labor Department said claims for Maine and Hawaii were estimated 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, fell 1,750 to 223,000 last week.

The economy created 213,000 jobs in June. While the unemployment rate increased to 4.0 percent from an 18-year low of 3.8 percent in May, that was because more people entered the labor force, a sign of confidence in the job market.

The labor market is viewed as being near or at full employment. Layoffs remain low amid a shortage of skilled workers. There were 6.6 million unfilled jobs in May.

The claims report also showed the number of people receiving benefits after an initial week of aid slipped 3,000 to 1.74 million in the week ended June 30. The four-week moving average of the so-called continuing claims rose 9,500 to 1.73 million.

(Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Andrea Ricci)

Use of food stamps remains at recession-era levels .
Judging by the number of Americans on food stamps, it doesn’t feel like one of the best job markets in almost a half century and the second-longest economic expansion on record. Enrollment in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, better known as food stamps, fell to 39.6 million in April, the most recent government data show. That’s down from a record 47.8 million in 2012, but as a share of the population it’s just back to where it was as the economy emerged from the longest and deepest downturn since the Great Depression.

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