The fewest Americans in four decades filed applications for unemployment benefits last week, continuing to unwind an early-July surge that was probably tied to mid-year factory shutdowns and school vacations.
Jobless claims plunged by 26,000 to 255,000 in the week ended July 18, the fewest since November 1973, a report from the Labor Department showed on Thursday in Washington. The median forecast of 47 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for 278,000. Volatility is typical for this time of year as auto plants retool for the new model year and school staff varies with summer holidays, a department spokesman said as the data was released to the press.
Claims continue to hover near historically low levels as employers are retaining workers to cater to a pickup in demand following a slump in early 2015. Combined with steady hiring across states, the improvement will help sustain household spending, the biggest part of the economy.
“Claims will remain low for the foreseeable future,” Mark Vitner, a senior economist at Wells Fargo Securities LLC in Charlotte, North Carolina, said before the report. “Businesses are having a tough time finding the workers they need. They expect sales to grow.”
The lowest weekly jobless claims number in my lifetime, but somehow the problem is Obama is terrible for the economy or something.
Yes, finally, we're seeing the shoe on the other foot after 2008: employers are scrambling to find workers, which means more workers entering the job market, which means more money in the pockets of households and hopefully higher wages across the board, which means more people buying products, creating more demand for workers.
Positive feedback loops can be wonderful things.