The week ended May 25 saw a slight increase in initial jobless claims which rose by 3,000 to 215,000, in line with market expectations. The labor market is still considered to be at its strongest point in decades.
- Jobless claims, a measure of layoffs, rose 3,000 to 215,000 as expected.
- The monthly average dropped by 3,750 to 216,750.
- Continuing claims dropped 16,000 to 1.66 million for the week ended May 16.
Last month, jobless claims hit the lowest level since 1968, indicating a stable, tight labor market with a low rate of layoffs. The less-volatile four-week moving average of initial claims dropped 3,750 places, showing that the overall trend is positive.
Claims continuing after an initial week of aid fell by 26,000, 5% lower than the same time last year, and the four-week average of continuing claims dropped 15,000 between the May and April survey periods. The level of unemployment hit 3.6% in April, near a 50-year low.
The labor market continues to be the healthiest component of the US economy which faces strong headwinds elsewhere in areas such as housing, manufacturing, and trade. The ongoing standoff with China continues to impact multiple industries nationwide, but to date there has been no sign of this impacting employment.
The economy is expected to continue to grow and is still on track for its longest period of expansion in history come summertime. The latest reading for Q1 GDP shows economic growth for the first three months of 2019 at a healthy 3.1%, revised downward from the initially reported 3.2% figure.
The US-China trade battle, if it continues, will create economic headwinds all around. But today's US jobless claims data still shows no sign of trouble via the labor market, at least not yet. Claims barely changed last week, holding near a 50yr low https://t.co/fjTQcjlbK0 pic.twitter.com/QT2aAs3H5v
— James Picerno (@jpicerno) May 30, 2019
Gold prices have seen little reaction to recent economic data regarding Q1 growth or jobless claims. Spot gold is currently trading down 0.02% at $1,280.40/oz with a high of $1,282.87/oz and a low of $1275.22/oz. The precious metal has struggled to find momentum so far in today’s market with stable, sideways activity seen so far.