Weekly jobless claims totaled 312,000.
This was slightly less than the 313,000 that was expected by economists.
Last week’s jobless claims report was revised up to 318,000 from 317,000.
Continuing claims came in at 2,561,000, below expectations for 2,600,000.
Following the report, Ian Shepherdson, Chief Economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics said, “In one line: The gentle downtrend is still intact, signalling robust payroll gains.”
“Jobless claims fell to 312K from 318K, close to the consensus, 313K. Last week’s claims were revised up by 1K. We had hoped for a slightly bigger decline but the downward tre
nd in claims is still in place. The trend is now at about 315K, down from about 340K at the turn of the year. The short-term relationship between claims and payrolls is weak, partly because claims measure only the pace of layoffs and have nothing to say directly about hiring, but over time a 10K drop in claims is consistent with payroll growth accelerating by about 25K, so the decline this year is consistent with sustained gains well in excess of 200K.”
This chart form Pantheon shows the continued downtrend in initial claims.