Bloomberg: Claims for unemployment insurance payments in the U.S. unexpectedly fell last week to a four-month low, signaling the recent slowdown in payroll gains was caused by a lack of hiring rather than more firings.
First-time applications for jobless benefits decreased 7,000 in the week ended Aug. 6 to 395,000, the fewest since early April … Economists forecast 405,000 claims … The number of people on unemployment benefit rolls and those getting extended payments also dropped.
… The four-week moving average, a less-volatile measure of initial claims, dropped to 405,000, also the lowest since April, from 408,250.
… The number of people continuing to collect jobless benefits dropped by 60,000 in the week ended July 30 to 3.69 million. The decrease was the biggest since February….
…. The unemployment rate among people eligible for benefits, which tends to track the jobless rate, fell to 2.9 percent in the week ended July 30, today’s report showed. Forty-four states and territories reported a decrease in claims, while nine had an increase.
Initial jobless claims reflect weekly firings and tend to fall as job growth – measured by the monthly non-farm payrolls report – accelerates…..
The trade deficit widened 4.4 percent to $53.1 billion from $50.8 billion in May, a report from the Commerce Department showed today. The deficit exceeded all estimates in a Bloomberg News survey of economists in which the median was $48 billion. Exports declined the most since January 2009.
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