Christmas Card from the U.S. Labor Market: Initial Jobless Claims Fall for 6th Week to 27-Month Low
The Department of Labor today reported that seasonally-adjusted, initial unemployment claims fell by 3,000 for the week ending December 11, and the four-week moving average decreased by 5,250. This was the sixth straight weekly decline in the moving average measure of jobless claims, bringing it down to 422,750 claims, the lowest level since the first week of August 2008, more than 27 months ago (see chart). This ongoing downward trend in jobless claims over the last two years provides more evidence that the U.S. labor market is gradually improving.
Most economic indicators (retail sales, industrial production, consumer and business confidence, leading economic indicator, rail traffic, state tax collections, personal income, international trade, global growth, etc.) are now pointing to increasing economic vibrancy that is gaining momentum, and we can look forward to the best retail holiday shopping season in three years, and the strongest economy next year since 2007.