Weekly jobless claims figures are out.
Initial claims fell to 350,000 in the week ended October 19 from an upward-revised 362,000 in the previous week.
Economists predicted a larger drop to 340,000.
Continuing claims fell to 2.874 million in the week ended October 12 from an upward-revised 2.882 million in the previous week.
“Applications in California remained elevated and analysts weren’t able to determine how many non-federal workers filed due to the government shutdown, a Labour Department spokesman said as the figures were released to the press,” reports Bloomberg’s Michelle Jamrisko. “Firings may gradually diminish as a backlog of claims processing in California and the end to the closure of government offices push and pull on the figures.”
Last week, the Labour Department attributed elevated levels of initial claims to technical issues, but the fiscal crisis was said to play a role as well.
Both S&P 500 and 10-year U.S. Treasury futures are down slightly immediately following the release.
This weekly economic datapoint offering a high-frequency look at the labour market remains of central importance to investors.
“Whether the U.S. recovery gets to a self-reinforcing stage continues to hinge on the health of the job market more than any other factor,” says Dow. “The time series of jobless claims, imperfect though it may be, is still the best gauge of this factor.”