Weekly unemployment reports show an astonishing decline to 199,000, the lowest level since 1969

The number of those submitting unemployment claims fell to the lowest level in more than 52 years last week, the Ministry of Labor reported on Wednesday.

New registrations totaled 199,000, a number not seen since November 15, 1969, when claims amounted to 197,000. The report easily beat the Dow Jones estimate of 260,000 and was well below last week’s 270,000.

The Ministry of Labor indicated no particular factors that caused the striking fall, which could send an important signal about a labor market that has struggled to return since the Covid-1[ads1]9 shock in March 2020.

In other economic reports on Wednesday morning, GDP growth in the second quarter was adjusted upwards to 2.1%, even though it was below the estimates of 2.2%. Orders for durable goods also fell by 0.5%, worse than expectations of a gain of 0.2%.

Along with the fall in weekly claims, continued claims, which are one week behind, fell by 60,000 to 2.05 million, a new low from the pandemic era.

The fall in weekly demands may bring to the attention of Federal Reserve politicians who have kept crisis-level policies in place despite the steady improvement in the labor market.

While the Fed has already said it will gradually begin to reduce its monthly bond purchases, markets are watching closely when the central bank may begin to raise interest rates. Although officials have indicated a possibility of perhaps one rate hike in 2022, traders are now indicating about a 61% probability of three hikes next year, according to CME’s FedWatch tracks.

Government bond yields were higher after the report and Wall Street was preparing for a negative opening in equities.

The fall in claims came with indications that the economy was growing slightly faster than originally thought during the summer, but not quite as fast as Wall Street had expected.

GDP, in total of all goods and services produced, increased one tenth of a percentage point from the original estimate of 2%, mainly on the basis of upward adjustments in consumer purchases and investments in private inventories, according to the Ministry of Trade.

The report also saw a massive revision of the increase in wages and salaries, which rose by 301.1 billion dollars, an upward adjustment of more than 50% from the original estimate.

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