Weekly jobless claims were lower than the consensus forecast among those polled by Bloomberg, falling by 8,000 to 287,000 while the four-week moving average dipped to 294,750. By slipping to 2.4 million in the prior week, the ongoing claimant count fell to its lowest level since June 2006. The Department of Labor said there were no unusual circumstances surrounding the latest data.
At the same time the unemployment rate amongst the insured rate fell by one-tenth to 1.8%. That measure typically tracks the national unemployment rate, which has fallen to 6.1%. On the initial claims measure, the labor market has recovered to pre-recession levels. This we have known for some time. The difficulty facing the Fed is that job creation isn’t as aggressive as it could be for this phase of the recovery.
The latest ADP data ahead of the October reading from the Bureau of Labor Statistics possibly does not suggest a near-term acceleration in the pick-up in employment.
Chart shows continuing claims fall to 8-year low.