Jobless claims fell to 298,000 for the week ended August 16.
Expectations were for claims to fall to 303,000 from last week’s 311,000.
Last week’s claims number was also revised up to 312,000, according to the latest report from the Department of Labour.
Continuing claims came in at 2,500,000, better than the 2,520,000 that was expected.
The four week moving average of jobless claims rose from last week, to 300,750 from last week’s revised number of 296,000.
Following the report, Ian Shepherdson at Pantheon Macro said, “The downward trend continues, and is consistent with strong payroll numbers.”
Shepherdson added that, “This time last year, claims were trending at about 335K, so the improvement has been substantial, and enough on its own to suggest that payroll growth should be able to sustain a pace close to 250K per month.”
This chart from Pantheon shows initial claims and the 8-week moving average, which is now hovering around 300,000.
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