Joined Nov 11, 2007
31,929 Blog Posts

Jobless claims fall 12,000

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell last week, showing little sign of a pick-up in layoffs in the wake of a slump in business and consumer confidence.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 12,000 to a seasonally adjusted 409,000, the Labor Department said on Thursday.

While the figure still points to a jobs market struggling to find strength, it remains well short of a recession signal.

“Claims are essentially on a flat trend over the past month after adjusting for strike impacts, providing some comfort that July’s improvement in economic reports was not followed by a deep dive in August,” said Avery Shenfeld, chief economist at CIBC World Markets in Toronto.

U.S. stock index futures pared losses on the jobless claims data, while prices for government debt held at higher levels.

While the claims data has no bearing on August’s nonfarm payrolls count to be released on Friday, it showed no evidence that businesses responded to the recent financial market turmoil by aggressively laying off workers.

Other reports suggested consumers also did not pull back in August. Some top U.S. retailers on Thursday reported better-than-expected sales last month, despite sagging consumer confidence and Hurricane Irene.

Nonfarm employment is expected to have increased 75,000 in August, according to a Reuters survey, dampened by a strike at Verizon Communications. Payrolls rose 117,000 in July.

If you enjoy the content at iBankCoin, please follow us on Twitter