Jobless claims edge lower as Fed looks to cool labor market

Although initial filings for unemployment benefit declined slightly last week, they were in line with an increase in layoffs which began in spring. Labor Department reported Thursday.

For the week ended August 13, 250,000 claims for unemployment were filed, which was 2,000 less than the previous week. This is below the 260,000 Dow Jones estimate.

Also, the four-week moving mean for claims (which helps to smooth out weekly volatility) fell by 2,750, from 246,750.

Following a bottoming of at 166,000, claims dropped to their lowest in 50 years earlier this year. But, after moving higher in April, the level for claims began rising. In that four week period, the moving average has nearly doubled to 80,000.

The total of continuing claims was 1.437million, an increase by 7,000.

Inflation is at its highest point in 40 years, and policymakers are closely watching the employment market. Federal Reserve officials introduced a number of interest rate rises in an attempt to cool down a labor force that offers nearly two jobs for every worker.

Fed officials reported that they noted “tentative indicators of a softening outlook on the labor market” at their July meeting. These included an increase in weekly claims. minutes released Wednesday. The policymakers stated that they would continue raising interest rates to bring down inflation, even though it meant slower hiring.

Chris Zaccarelli is chief investment officer at Independent Investor Alliance.

You can also read other economic news from Thursday the Philadelphia Fed reportedIts August monthly manufacturing survey showed a reading of 6.2, which is the ratio between businesses expecting to expand and companies anticipating to contract. This was an improvement on July’s score of minus-12.

This level was higher than the estimate of a minus-5, which helped to quell concerns that manufacturing may be heading for major slowdown. On Monday, a similar survey from New York Fed dropped by 40 points. This was because respondents said that conditions in the business sector were worsening.

Although the indexes of prices paid and received declined over the month, they still remain in territory that suggests inflation. The hiring and new orders also showed improvement. However, the last registered a reading at minus-5.1.

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