US weekly jobless claims fall, productivity improves

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US weekly jobless claims fall, productivity improves

On Thursday, the 7th of March 2019, the US Labor Department revealed weekly unemployment report and surprisingly, the number of American citizens applying for unemployment benefits fell last week, indicating a stronger-than-anticipated labor market and a robust US economy underneath despite signs of sagging job growth.

Other data revealed on Thursday (March the 7th) displayed an improvement in productivity in the last quarter of 2018, although the trend remained sluggish. Labor costs were also rising in the fourth quarter at a moderate pace, pointing towards a latent inflation pressures that should support Federal Reserve’s “patient” stance while hiking interest rates further this year.

According to the data reported by US Labor Department, the number of Americans filing unemployment benefits for the first time in the life had dropped 3,000 to 2,23,000 from previous 2,26,000 a week earlier, while analysts were forecasting an unchanged figure of 2,26,000.

Despite an upbeat initial unemployment claims, February’s unemployment report scheduled to be released on Friday (March the 8th) could reveal weakness, as there had been signs of a sluggish employment growth after last year’s strong job market.

Shortage of workers had been a reason of a moderating job growth in the US economy. Unlike the February unemployment report, non-farm payroll would likely to increase by 1,80,000 jobs in February, after posting a surge of 3,04,000 in January.