US weekly jobless claims fall more than expected to 787,000 as labor-market rebound shows strength
- New US
jobless claimsfor the week that ended Saturday totaled 787,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. The reading came in below the consensus economist estimate of 870,000, and also shows an decline from the previous week's revised figure.
- Continuing claims, which track Americans currently receiving
unemploymentbenefits, decreased to 8.4 million for the week that ended October 10. That was lower than economist forecasts.
The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits declined more than expected last week as the nation's labor market continued to show signs of recovery.
More than 65 million
Jobless claims unexpectedly jumped last week after steadily declining, suggesting the labor market's rebound had run out of steam. Filings had wavered around 850,000 for months as hiring failed to accelerate. The unemployment rate stands at 7.9%, a similarly elevated level after five straight months of improvement.Rising coronavirus cases throughout the country endanger the rebound. Claims counts in some states have been closely tied to virus infection rates, Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said Thursday. "We see no reason to expect the national picture to be much different, so we would not be at all surprised to see claims start to head higher over the next few weeks," he added.
While the labor market's recovery has largely slowed, other indicators point to a robust economic bounce-back. Retail spending climbed 1.9% in September, beating estimates and signaling improved consumer spending trends heading into the critical holiday season. The housing market continues to rally on historic demand, and purchasing managers' indexes show continued strength in both the manufacturing and service industries.The millions of Americans still unable to find work will likely face more difficult conditions in the immediate future. Democrats and Republicans continue to spar on a new stimulus measure. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin aim to reach an agreement before the week is out, but Senate Republicans are poised to block the measure.
Chances of pre-election stimulus "continue to look very low," Goldman Sachs strategists said in a Tuesday note. Still, negotiations will continue since "neither side benefits from ending them."
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