Labour department headquartersWikimedia CommonsThe Frances Perkins Building, U.S. Department of Labour Headquarters

The Department of Labour just published its latest weekly tally of
initial unemployment insurance claims.

Claims ticked up to just 308,000 from 307,000 a week ago.

This was much lower than the 315,000 economists were looking for.

The four-week moving average fell to 305,000, which is the lowest level since May 2007.

“While the decline in jobless filings is certainly an improvement, we find it worth highlighting that the data only sheds light on the layoff side of the labour equation, doing little to provide much insight about actual hiring intentions,” noted TD Securities Gennadiy Goldberg. “Other surveys such as the recently much-improved NFIB hiring plans index show businesses intending to hire more employees, suggesting that the combination of lower claims and improved hiring intentions could lead any new job creation to more easily translate into labour market slack absorption.”

In the near-term, the initial claims tally is not expected to stay this low for very long as furloughed government workers file for claims thanks to the ongoing shutdown.

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