Initial jobless claims held steady

Initial jobless claims held steady at 254,000 from the prior week.

Economists were expecting claims to rise slightly to 265,000, according to Bloomberg.

Claims have not risen above 300,000 for 71 straight weeks — the longest stretch in 43 years.

The four-week moving average was 259,000 a decrease of 5,750 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 264,750.

Last week, claims fell by 16,000.

“Claims are currently at a very low level relative to the size of the labour force. So, they are unlikely to decline much further from current levels,” wrote Jefferies’ Ward McCarthy in a note to clients after the report.

“With claims at a structural lower bound, weekly changes in claims will provide little incremental information about the condition of the labour market beyond providing confirmation that conditions are solid and improving,” he continued. “The majority of Fed policymakers will want to see more evidence of reduced labour market slack, though recent comments suggest that they think the labour market is approaching ‘maximum employment’. Continued frictional levels of jobless claims support this judgment.”

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