Jobless Claims Decline in U.S. More Than Expected

Fewer people in the U.S. than what had been forecasted filed for benefits from unemployment last week, which added to evidence the labor markets remained both stable and healthy.

The jobless claims fell to 259,000, which was a drop of 18,000 for the period that ended on June 18, showed a report released Thursday morning by the Department of Labor.

This was the biggest drop since early February. The average forecast in the survey called for unemployment to drop to over 270,000.

Hiring managers have found little reason to cut staff amidst a pool of workers available that is dwindling. Sustained low jobless claims have helped reassure policy makers at the Federal Reserve that the recent payroll gains slowdown will also dissipate.

A chief economist on Wall Street said the new data from the Labor Department continues to point toward a fairly solid labor market.

Estimates for unemployment benefits were between a low of 260,000 and a high of 280,000. Claims during the week before were not revised and remained at 277,000.

Filings have remained below the threshold of 300,000 the past 68 weeks, which is the longest such stretch since 1973. That figure of 300,000 is usually considered consistent with a labor market that remains healthy.

No state estimated its totals the most recent week and nothing unusual was in the latest data.

The four-week claims’ average, a measure considered last volatile, was down from 269,500 to just over 267,000.

The number of individuals that are continuing to receive benefits of joblessness feel by more than 20,000 to just over 2.13 million. The rate of unemployment for people eligible for unemployment benefits was steady at 1.6%. The data is reported using a lag of one week.

Low levels of the initial claims reflect the weekly firings typically related to strong job growth.

In May payrolls, weak change that was unexpected helped to moderate Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s assessment of the outlook economically.

Earlier this week, Yellen offered the slight change in her language before the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, by saying that officials would judge if the labor markets would strengthen.

The latest numbers are showing that the Federal Reserve needs to be very delicate when making a decision to raise the interest rates since there are many factors including problems in China and overall sluggish economical growth worldwide that will also influence U.S. economic growth.