Initial jobless claims rose 3k, to 267k, in the week ending September 19, a bit lower than our forecast (275k) and consensus expectations (272k). Analysts had expected new claims to rise more. Claims had fallen by 17,000 in the prior two weeks.
The Labor Department said there were no special factors affecting the latest weekly data.
The trend in jobless claims continues to give bullish signs on the health of the US labor market, which is critical for the Federal Reserve’s plans to lift interest rates as soon as this year. That being said, weekly claims have not been real market-moving reports for some time now. While that was the lowest level since 2008, other signs of slack remain in the labor market, including weak wage growth and the lowest share of Americans participating in the labor force since the 1970s.
Continuing claims are reported with a one-week lag, and 24/7 Wall St. refers to this figure as the army of the unemployed.
The monthly comparison of survey-week jobless claims in this morning’s data shows a modest decline in initial claims (264k, August: 277k) and almost unchanged continuing claims (2.242mn, July: 2.266) from August to September.