First time claims were expected to be come in at 303,000. The actual number was 298,000. As Shobhana Chandra of Bloomberg reports:
Fewer Americans than forecast applied for unemployment benefits last week, a sign the U.S. job market is making progress as the world’s largest economy grows. Jobless claims fell by 14,000 to 298,000 in the week ended Aug. 16, a Labor Department report showed today in Washington. The median forecast of 46 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for 303,000. Continuing claims fell to the lowest level in more than seven years.
No headlines in that. And probably not much for the bankers out in Jackson Hole, Wyoming to get their hands around. But as all who follow these things know, the employment picture is not pleasing to Janet Yellen’s eye. Too many people doing part time work. Too many not in the work force at all. And growth, from all indications, insufficiently robust.