US Weekly Job Claims Declines to a Nine-Month Low
The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits declined for the week ended February 1, 2020 to the lowest reading since April 2019. The United States’ (US) Labor department reported that initial claims for state unemployment benefits declined by 15,000 to amount to 202,000 when compared to the previous week. This reading was below the market’s expectations of 215,000. The strengthening of the US labour market has helped to support consumer spending, which contributes approximately 70% to the US economy.
Despite the low levels of jobless claims, recent announcement of job cuts by US based employers, which jumped by 106% and an eleven month high of 67,735 in January, suggest that the jobs market may be slowing. Friday, the US Commerce Department will release its Non-farm payroll data for January 2020 which should provide further insight into the jobs market and the US economy.