December 13, 2017

New Jobless Claims Rise Unexpectedly

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 28,000 to a seasonally adjusted 385,000, the highest level since November, the Labor Department said on Thursday.

Economists, who had expected claims to drop to 350,000, said while part of the rise reflected difficulties adjusting the data during the Easter and spring breaks, there was no doubt the pace of job growth had eased.

“What we do know is that the growth momentum has slowed, employment has slowed. The question is how much,” said Millan Mulraine, a senior economist at TD Securities.

That question will be answered on Friday when the government releases its employment report for March.

According to a Reuters survey of economists, the Labor Department is expected to report that employers added 200,000 jobs to their payrolls last month after hiring 236,000 workers in February. The unemployment rate is seen holding steady at a four-year low of 7.7 percent.

But the risks for a weaker reading are high after a report from the payroll processor ADP on Wednesday showed that private employers added the fewest jobs in five months in March.

Goldman Sachs expects the economy to have created 175,000 jobs last month, noting that the tone of labor market indicators softened in March, especially in light of the so-called government sequester, which is cutting $85 billion in spending.

“The sequester is likely to slow March payroll growth, and payrolls have outpaced broader measures of labor market improvement over the last few months,” said Sven Jari Stehn, an economist at Goldman Sachs.

Last week, the four-week moving average for new claims, considered by some economists to be a better measure of labor market trends, rose 11,250, to 354,250.

Article source: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/05/business/economy/claims-for-us-jobless-benefits-rise.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

Economic Data Points To a Steady Fed Policy

The Fed is currently buying $85 billion in bonds a month and has said it would keep up purchases until the labor market outlook improves substantially, although officials are increasingly divided over the wisdom of that course.

“The economy is in a holding pattern. It’s not going to strengthen sufficiently to justify an end of the current program,” said Millan Mulraine, senior economist at TD Securities.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 20,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 362,000, unwinding the bulk of the previous week’s decline, the Labor Department said.

A second report from the department showed that consumer prices were flat for a second consecutive month in January as gasoline prices fell and the cost of food held steady.

In the 12 months through January, consumer prices rose 1.6 percent, the smallest gain since July, suggesting there was little inflation pressure to worry the Fed.

News on the manufacturing sector, which has supported the economy’s recovery from the 2007-9 recession, was downbeat.

The Philadelphia Fed’s business activity index dropped to minus 12.5 in February, the lowest level since June. The index, which measures factory activity in the mid-Atlantic region, had fallen to minus 5.8 in January. A reading below zero indicates contraction in the region’s manufacturing sector. The survey covers factories in eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware.

The American economy braked sharply in the fourth quarter, but grew at a 2.2 percent clip for the full year. Output is being hampered by lackluster demand as employment struggles to gain traction.

Job growth has been far less than the at least 250,000 a month over a sustained period that economists say is needed to significantly reduce the ranks of unemployed. The unemployment rate rose 0.1 percentage point to 7.9 percent in January.

Last week’s data on initial jobless claims covered the survey period for the government’s closely watched monthly tally of nonfarm jobs. Jobless claims were up 27,000 between the January and February survey periods.

However, the increase probably does not suggest any material change in the pace of job growth given that claims have been very volatile since January because of difficulties smoothing the data for seasonal fluctuations.

Despite the weak factory and jobs data, there is reason for optimism about the economy. The housing market recovery is gaining momentum. A report from the National Association of Realtors showed existing home sales rose 0.4 percent last month, pushing the supply of homes on the market to a 13-year low. The median home price rose 12.3 percent from a year ago.

Although consumer prices excluding food and energy rose 0.3 percent — the largest gain since May 2011 — most of that reflected outsize increases in apparel and education costs.

“January is a tough month because you get a lot of price hikes at the start of the new year and the seasonals have a hard time sort of adjusting,” said Omair Sharif, an economist at RBS. “I don’t expect the core C.P.I. to maintain that pace of increase in the near-term.”

The Conference Board said its index of leading economic indicators rose 0.2 percent in January to 94.1, after an 0.5 percent increase in December.

Article source: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/22/business/economy/claims-for-jobless-benefits-rise.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

Economic Data Points to a Steady Fed Policy

WASHINGTON (Reuters) — A range of economic data on Thursday like claims for unemployment benefits, factory activity and consumer prices pointed to a still-tepid recovery and supported the argument for the Federal Reserve to maintain its monetary stimulus.

The Fed is currently buying $85 billion in bonds a month and has said it would keep up purchases until the labor market outlook improves substantially, although officials are increasingly divided over the wisdom of that course.

“The economy is in a holding pattern. It’s not going to strengthen sufficiently to justify an end of the current program,” said Millan Mulraine, senior economist at TD Securities.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 20,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 362,000, unwinding the bulk of the previous week’s decline, the Labor Department said.

A second report from the department showed that consumer prices were flat for a second consecutive month in January as gasoline prices fell and the cost of food held steady.

In the 12 months through January, consumer prices rose 1.6 percent, the smallest gain since July, suggesting there was little inflation pressure to worry the Fed.

News on the manufacturing sector, which has supported the economy’s recovery from the 2007-9 recession, was downbeat.

The Philadelphia Fed’s business activity index dropped to minus 12.5 in February, the lowest level since June. The index, which measures factory activity in the mid-Atlantic region, had fallen to minus 5.8 in January. A reading below zero indicates contraction in the region’s manufacturing sector. The survey covers factories in eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware.

The American economy braked sharply in the fourth quarter, but grew at a 2.2 percent clip for the full year. Output is being hampered by lackluster demand as employment struggles to gain traction.

Job growth has been far less than the at least 250,000 a month over a sustained period that economists say is needed to significantly reduce the ranks of unemployed. The unemployment rate rose 0.1 percentage point to 7.9 percent in January.

Last week’s data on initial jobless claims covered the survey period for the government’s closely watched monthly tally of nonfarm jobs. Jobless claims were up 27,000 between the January and February survey periods.

However, the increase probably does not suggest any material change in the pace of job growth given that claims have been very volatile since January because of difficulties smoothing the data for seasonal fluctuations.

Despite the weak factory and jobs data, there is reason for optimism about the economy. The housing market recovery is gaining momentum. A report from the National Association of Realtors showed existing home sales rose 0.4 percent last month, pushing the supply of homes on the market to a 13-year low. The median home price rose 12.3 percent from a year-ago.

Although consumer prices excluding food and energy rose 0.3 percent — the largest gain since May 2011 — most of that reflected outsize increases in apparel and education costs.

“January is a tough month because you get a lot of price hikes at the start of the new year and the seasonals have a hard time sort of adjusting,” said Omair Sharif, an economist at RBS. “I don’t expect the core C.P.I. to maintain that pace of increase in the near-term.”

The Conference Board said its index of leading economic indicators rose 0.2 percent in January to 94.1, after an 0.5 percent increase in December.

Article source: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/22/business/economy/claims-for-jobless-benefits-rise.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

U.S. Unemployment Claims Dip to 9-Month Low

 

New claims for unemployment benefits dropped to a nine-month low in the United States last week, a government report showed on Thursday, suggesting the labor market recovery was gaining momentum.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell 23,000 to a seasonally adjusted 381,000, the Labor Department said, the lowest since late February. The previous week’s data was revised up to 404,000, from the previously reported 402,000.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast that claims would slip to 395,000 last week.

The report, coming on the heels of data last week showing a rise in hiring and a sharp drop in the unemployment rate to 8.6 percent in November, pointed to some healing in a sector that has been the Achilles’ heel of the economy’s recovery.

The drop in claims last week more than unwound the prior two weeks’ increase, and pulled them back below the 400,000 level usually associated with improving labor market conditions.

Claims were the latest data to suggest an acceleration in economic growth in the current quarter after output expanded at a 2 percent annual rate in the July-September period.

The four-week moving average of claims, considered a better measure of labor market trends, fell 3,000 to 393,250, the lowest since early April.

The number of people still receiving benefits under regular state programs after an initial week of aid dropped 174,000 to 3.58 million in the week ended Nov. 26, the lowest since mid-September 2008.

Economists had forecast that so-called continuing claims would fall to 3.70 million from a previously reported 3.74 million.

The number of Americans on emergency unemployment benefits declined 178,610 to 2.79 million in the week ended Nov. 19, the latest week for which data is available.

A total of 6.57 million people were claiming unemployment benefits during that period under all programs, down 431,397 from the prior week.

 

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=f465e630bd03058e4820cecd7afcb6c7

Claims for Unemployment Benefits Increase

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 418,000, the Labor Department said.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims rising to 410,000. The prior week’s figure was revised up to 408,000 from the previously reported 405,000.

The claims data covered the survey period for the closely watched nonfarm payrolls count for July. Initial claims dropped 11,000 between the June and July survey periods, suggesting a modest improvement in employment after June’s paltry 18,000-job gain.

A government shutdown in Minnesota following a budget impasse resulted in an additional 1,750 state employees filing claims for jobless benefits last week.

Initial claims have now been above the 400,000 mark for 15 consecutive weeks. A level of 400,000 claims or less is usually associated with a stable labor market.

The four-week moving average of claims, considered a better measure of labor market trends, slipped 2,750 to 421,250.

A total of 7.33 million people were claiming unemployment benefits during that period under all programs, down 159,000 from the prior week.

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=cb328e00385bf0639d88377351f49b3b