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U.S. ECONOMICS: Jobless Claims Remain Near 48-Year Lows

Initial jobless claims started May near the super-lean 211,000 level from the previous week, following a 48-year low of 209,000 in late-April. Claims have tightened sharply into May after a rise to a 242,000 peak in late-March, the leg lower may be attributed to gyrations due to school breaks alongside the moving Easter holiday.

Claims entered May well below the cycle-low April average of 221,000, versus prior averages of 228,000 in March, 224,000 in February, and 232,000 in January. The May Bureau of Labor Statistics survey week reading looks poised to undershoot recent survey week readings of 233,000 in April, 227,000 in March, 218,000 in February, and 226,000 in January.

Analysts with Action Economics ( AE ) peg the May nonfarm payroll gain at 195,000, which lies above the 164,000 April figure, but right between the 200,000 year-to-date average and the 190,000 average increase over the past 12 months. Payrolls face upside risk from a tight path for claims, a firm path for ADP through the 204,000 April rise that capped a four-month stretch of big 228,000-249,000 gains, and robust consumer, producer, and small business confidence.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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