NEW claims for unemployment benefits fell more than expected last week, but not enough to suggest much improvement in the distressed labour market.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell 23,000 to a seasonally-adjusted 452,000, the Labour Department said yesterday. Analysts had expected a drop to 455,000.
Despite the fall, which also saw the unwinding of the prior week’s administrative related-jump, claims remain above levels usually associated with a strong job market recovery. The government revised the prior week’s figure up to 475,000.
Ellen Beeson Zenter, senior US macroeconomist at the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi said: “While jobless claims do seem to be on a downward trend, it can hardly be classified as pronounced and claims hovering around the 450,000 mark implies that little or no job growth exists.”
Separately, October’s weak US Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index highlights that the manufacturing recovery is fading fast.
The unemployment and the manufacturing data added to the likelihood that the Federal Reserve will ease monetary policy further next month.
City A.M. Reporter