Applications for US unemployment benefits remained historically low last week, highlighting ongoing strength in the labor market.
(Bloomberg) — Applications for US unemployment benefits remained historically low last week, highlighting ongoing strength in the labor market.
Initial jobless claims ticked up slightly to 207,000 in the week ending Sept. 30, according to Labor Department data out Thursday. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for an increase to 210,000.
Continuing claims, a proxy for the number of people receiving unemployment benefits, were also little changed at 1.7 million in the week through Sept. 23.
The resilient labor market has continued to power consumer spending in the face of high inflation and interest rates. Demand for workers remains solid and the layoffs that made headlines earlier this year have largely eased.
The monthly employment report due Friday will provide more insights into the job market. Economists anticipate slowing but still healthy growth in nonfarm payrolls.
The four-week moving average of initial claims, which smooths out some of the volatility, edged down to 208,750, the lowest since February.
What Bloomberg Economics Says…
“The small rise in jobless claims suggests layoffs remain historically low overall, but that could change the longer the United Auto Workers strike persists. As it expands, more suppliers might be forced temporarily lay off non-striking workers, who are eligible for unemployment-insurance benefits.”
— Eliza Winger. To read the full note, click here
On an unadjusted basis, claims declined to the lowest level in a year. Applications fell the most in Ohio and Alabama, while they rose in California.
–With assistance from Marien Lopez-Medina and Jordan Yadoo.
(Adds Bloomberg Economics comment)
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