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Title: Jobless Claims Fall To Lowest In Four And A Half Years
Source: Reuters
URL Source: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012 ... -economy-idUSBRE89A0R520121011
Published: Oct 11, 2012
Author: Reuters
Post Date: 2012-10-11 11:02:08 by Brian S
Keywords: None
Views: 1665
Comments: 2

(Reuters) - The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell sharply last week to the lowest level in more than four and a half years, according to government data on Thursday that suggested improvement in the labor market.

The news could help President Barack Obama in his tight race for re-election on November 6 against Republican challenger Mitt Romney, who says Obama has mishandled the economy.

But a second report released on Thursday hinted at weaker U.S. and global demand. The U.S. trade deficit widened in August to $44.2 billion, as U.S. goods exports fell for the fifth consecutive month and imports declined fractionally.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell 30,000 to a seasonally adjusted 339,000, the Labor Department said.

It was the lowest number of new claims since February 2008, about a year before Obama took office in the midst of the global financial crisis.

"This is a positive signal for the economy. The overall trend seems to be that the labor market is improving," said Brian Kim, a currency strategist at RBS Securities in Stamford, Connecticut.

A Labor Department analyst noted that seasonal factors had predicted a very large increase in claims last week, which he said would be typical for the first week of the calendar quarter. Unadjusted claims did rise, but far less than expected, resulting in the sharp drop in the seasonally adjusted figure.

The analyst cautioned against reading too much into one week's figure, and noted that one state had reported a decline in claims last week when an increase was expected. He said no states had been estimated for the report.

Still, economists said the labor market was showing signs of getting stronger.

Zach Pandl, strategist at Columbia Management in Minneapolis, said "you do have to be cautious about possible distortions. But with that caveat, the jobless claims numbers have been modestly encouraging over the last few weeks."

The prior week's figure was revised up to show 2,000 more new jobless aid applications than previously reported.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims edging up to 370,0000 last week. The four-week moving average for new claims, a better measure of labor market trends, fell 11,500 to 364,000.

U.S. stocks opened higher, while Treasury debt prices fell after the data and the dollar extended gains against the yen.

Recent data on the U.S. labor market has been encouraging.

Employers added a modest 114,000 jobs to their payrolls in September, but the unemployment rate dropped sharply to 7.8 percent, also the lowest level since Obama took office.

The claims report showed the number of people still receiving benefits under regular state programs after an initial week of aid fell to 3.27 million in the week ended September 29, the latest data available. It was the lowest since May.

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#1. To: Brian S (#0)

California's 30 000 Claims Number was not reported.

369 000 with CA.....;}

mcgowanjm  posted on  2012-10-12   9:08:24 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#2. To: Brian S, A K A STONE (#0)

*Obamanomics On Parade*

Take me OFF your ping list, or I will commence shitting on EVERY thread you post.


"I am relying on my personal experience with Morons, which have been universally positive." -jwpegler

Capitalist Eric  posted on  2012-10-12   11:35:01 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


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