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First Cut: Initial jobless claims in June 15 week bob along trend in a tight labor market

Initial jobless claims in the June 15 week declined 6,000 to 216,000 after an unrevised 222,000 in the prior week. Claims continue to bob along in a narrow range of about 215,000-225,000 and remain consistent with a solid labor market in which businesses are reluctant to resort to layoffs to cut costs — especially if needed in the event of a downturn — when the pool of available workers is shallow.

The Labor Department reported no special factors and no states estimated claim. There was not any significant weather events or holidays that might create a mismatch with seasonal factors.

Continuing claims fell 37,000 to 1.662 million in the June 8 week, a normal week-to-week variation. The insured rate of unemployment was yet again at 1.2% in the June 8 week, extending the stretch of readings begun in the May 5, 2018 week.

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