The Department of Labour just released its latest tally of
initial unemployment insurance claims, and the numbers look good for the job market.

Initial claims fell to 298,000. This is down from last week’s 321,000, which was revised up from an earlier reading of 316,000.

Economists were expecting claims to come in at 320,000.

The 4-week moving average fell to 322,250 from 330,000 a week ago.

“While we continue to note that the tone in the initial claims data has been steadily improving over the past few months, we believe that seasonal volatility has recently led the data to overstate the true voracity of labour market improvement,” said TD Securities Gennadity Goldberg. “We continue to see the ‘true’ trend in claims running at about 320-330K, but we are unlikely to see a fresh confirmation of this trend until strong seasonal volatility begins to unwind in early-February.”

U.S. futures have pulled back a bit on the news with S&P futures slightly in the red after being up 2 points ahead of the report.

Some market strategists have warned that stronger-than-expected economic data would likely encourage to the Fed to taper quantitative easing and raise rates sooner-than-expected.

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