Jobless Claims Hit 15-Year Low
The four-week moving average of initial jobless claims has fallen to its lowest level since April 2000. An average 271,750 Americans filed new claims over each of the past four weeks. For the week ended May 9 264,000 initial claims were filed, but short-term volatility makes the moving average a more accurate gauge of the numbers, which strongly correlate to layoffs.
These Labor Department figures, released today, come as welcome news following another in a string of lackluster consumer spending results. Upcoming revisions are still likely to show a first quarter GDP contraction. But the strong job market should eventually lift other boats should it endure through the rest of the year.