Jobless Claims Fall More than Expected
In its weekly report, the U.S. Department of Labor said for the week ending July 21 that the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 353,000. This reading was better than the consensus estimate of 380,000 and decreased 35,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 388,000.
Initial jobless claims data measure the number of individuals filing for jobless benefits for the first time during the previous week. A lower-than-expected reading is typically a positive signal about the U.S. job market, as more people remain employed.
When emerging unemployment is low and less than expected, it indicates a relatively healthy or recovering economy.
Thursday, the initial jobless claims' four-week moving average was 367,250, decreasing 8,750 from the previous week's revised average of 376,000.
Continuing jobless claims measure the number of unemployed individuals who continue to be eligible for unemployment benefits.
The U.S. Department of Labor said the advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment, during the week ending July 14, was 3,287,000. This number was worse than the consensus estimate of 3,300,000, and decreased 30,000 from the preceding week's revised level of 3,317,000.
The four-week moving average for continuing jobless claims decreased 3,750 on Thursday. The average moved to 3,309,000 from the preceding week's revised average of 3,312,750.
U.S. equity futures were slightly higher immediately after the 8:30 a.m. ET release.
- Long general retail companies like JCPenney (NYSE: JCP) because, as more individuals leave the workforce, people likely will spend less of their residual income.
- Long consumer discretionary companies like Target (NYSE: TGT) or the Consumer Discretionary ETF (NYSE: XLY).
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Tags: U.S. Department of Labor