WASHINGTON — U.S. private-sector employers stepped up hiring in December, suggesting some momentum in the economy as the year ended, even as a budget crisis loomed.
While other data on Thursday showed an increase in the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits, the trend remained consistent with steady job growth.
“The underlying economy has momentum, and the employment data confirms that. The hope and prayer of the market is that our political leaders don’t screw it up,” said John Brady, managing director at R.J. O’Brien & Associates in Chicago.
WASHINGTON — The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell last week, pointing to moderate job growth despite slowing economic activity.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits declined 11,000 to a seasonally adjusted 346,000, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Claims for the prior week were revised to show 3,000 more applications received than previously reported.
Economists polled by Reuters had expected first-time applications to fall to 345,000 last week.
WASHINGTON — The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell more than expected last week, which could ease fears of a marked deterioration in labour market conditions after a surprise stumble in job growth in March.
WASHINGTON – The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell more than expected last week, pointing to resilience in the labour market despite belt-tightening by Washington.
Still, other data on Thursday suggested the federal austerity drive was combining with weak overseas demand to hold U.S. factory activity in May to its weakest rate of growth in seven months.
Bill Luby submits: Friday’s data dump of nonfarm payrolls, the ISM non-manufacturing survey and factory orders capped a big week for economic data and since there is an unusually long stretch until the next data points are released (Thursday’s jobless claims), this seems like a good time to update my ongoing chart of economic data relative to expectations.
Andrew Wilkinson submits: U.S. treasury futures remain buoyant and close to the highest traded prices this week after a disappointing reading for retail sales data during the final month of 2009. Heading into the report bond yields remained pressured to the downside after the Fed’s Beige Book yesterday reported creeping recovery across a further two regions bringing ongoing expansion to 10 of the 12 Fed regions.