Initial jobless claims in the week ended August 3 fell 8,000 to 209,000 after a revised 217,000 in the prior week (previously 215,000). Even with signs of slower economic activity, as yet there is no sign of a pick up in layoffs. Claims levels continue to hover a little about the 200,000-mark that is consistent with a sound labor market.
The picture painted by the claims numbers is one of only mild and normal week-to-fluctuations and stable underlying conditions.
The four-week moving average was little changed in the August 3 week, up 250 to 212,250. The pace of claims has steadied after an uptick in early July.
The Labor Department reported no special factors and no states estimated claims.
Continuing claims were down 15,000 to 1.684 million in the July 27 week, unwinding some of the increases earlier in the month. The insured rate of unemployment was unchanged at 1.2% where it has been since May 2018.
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