Summary: The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, indicating continued strong job growth despite a tightening labor market.
According to the Labor Department, initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped by 13,000 to a seasonally adjusted 198,000 for the week ended October 14, surpassing economists’ forecast of 212,000 claims. While the labor market is gradually cooling, it remains tight as claims hover in the lower end of their range for this year. The impact of the United Auto Workers (UAW) strikes on the labor market has been limited so far. The Federal Reserve’s Beige Book report indicated easing labor market tightness and cooling wage pressure in early October. The labor market’s strength is surprising considering the Fed’s interest rate hikes. The claims report covered the week when business establishments were surveyed for the October employment report, during which claims fell between the September and October survey periods. Data on the number of people receiving benefits after the initial week of aid will provide more insight into the health of the labor market. Continuing claims increased by 29,000 to 1.734 million during the week ending October 7.
Tags: unemployment benefits, job growth, labor market, economy, Fed, interest rates