Initial jobless claims fall more than forecast

Initial jobless claims totaled 269,000 last week, fewer than expected, and the lowest print of the year.

Economists had estimated that there were 280,000 first-time filings for unemployment insurance last week, down from 285,000 in the prior period, according to Bloomberg.

It’s the only data release we’ll get Thursday, as global markets sell off, and ahead of the second day of Janet Yellen’s semi-annual testimony in Congress.

The data confirms, like Yellen said on Wednesday, that the labour market remains robust.

The four-week moving average of claims, which evens out some of the volatility, fell by 3,500 to 281,250.

“This drop does not reverse all the apparent increase in the trend over the past couple of months, but it does add weight to our view that a good part of the increase was due to turn-of-the-year seasonal adjustment problems,” noted Pantheon Macroeconomics’ Ian Shepherdson to clients.

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