U.S. weekly jobless claims post
largest drop in almost two years
nearly two years last week, pointing to a further tightening in the labor market.
adjusted 234,000 for the week ended April 1, the Labor Department said on
Thursday. The drop was the largest since the week ending April 25, 2015, and
unwound recent increases that had lifted claims to a three-month high.
improvement which is important news with the long expansion expected to
eventually tire somewhere down the line given its longevity," said Chris Rupkey,
chief economist at MUFG Union Bank in New York.
market, for 109 straight weeks. That is the longest such stretch since 1970, when
the labor market was smaller. The labor market is currently near full employment.
250,000 last week. The four-week moving average of claims, considered a
better measure of labor market trends as it irons out week-to-week volatility,
fell 4,500 to 250,000 last week.
U.S. Treasuries. U.S. stocks were trading marginally higher.
scheduled for release on Friday. Claims rose during the survey week for March
nonfarm payrolls, suggesting some moderation in the pace of job growth after
two straight months of gains in excess of 230,000.
does look like things weakened around the reference week for the March
employment report," said Daniel Silver, economist at JPMorgan in New York.
Challenger, Gray & Christmas reported on Thursday that U.S.-based
employers announced 43,310 job cuts in March, up 17 percent from February.
Most of the layoffs were in the retail, telecommunications and education sectors.
sector employment in March slipping, but remaining
at a level consistent with growing payrolls. Another report,
however, showed U.S. private payrolls surged by
263,000 jobs in March.
payrolls likely increased by 180,000 jobs last month
after rising by 235,000 in February. The unemployment
rate is expected to hold steady at 4.7 percent.
benefits after an initial week of aid decreased 24,000 to 2.03 million in the
week ended March 25. The four-week moving average of the so-called
continuing claims fell 7,750 to 2.02 million, the lowest level since 2000.