Stocks are at a five-year high, and lo and behold, jobless
claims are at a five-year low.
In this morning's data, we saw new jobless benefits
fall sharply last week. Applications for initial unemployment
benefits sank -27,000 to a seasonally adjusted 341,000 in the week
ended Feb. 9, the Labor Department said. The four-week moving
average was 352,000. Last week's claims are now just slightly above
a five-year low.
This beat all estimates. Economists surveyed expected a
much smaller drop to 360,000 from a revised 368,000 in the prior
week. Last year, the average was 361,000.
As more evidence of jobs market improvement, the continuing
claims figures improved too. This does not include those
receiving extended benefits under federal programs. The
number of citizens continuing to receive jobless benefits declined
-130,000 to 3.11 million in the week ended Feb. 2, the lowest level
since July 2008. Last year, the number was 3.44 million.
This is the key: This drop of -300K with a 150M labor
force means a drop of -0.2% in the unemployment rate over last
The unemployment rate among people eligible for
benefits , which tends to track the jobless rate, fell to 2.4%
in the week ended Feb. 2, from 2.5% in the prior week.
What is your take? Is this a durable sign of a
change in labor market conditions?SPDR-DJ IND AVG (DIA): ETF Research ReportsSPDR-GOLD TRUST (GLD): ETF Research ReportsSPDR-SP 500 TR (SPY): ETF Research ReportsTo read this article on Zacks.com click here.Zacks Investment