Weekly Jobless Claims Continue Downward Trajectory

Date: September 21, 2015

Data Shows Lowest Number Of New Unemployment Claims In Two Months

The US continued to improve its unemployment landscape this month, according to Labor Department data, with initial jobless claims falling to 264,000 for the week ending September 12, down from 275,000 the week before. The four-week moving average of claims fell to 272,500 from the previous week’s 275,750. According to the news release discussing the data, there were “no special factors” affecting unemployment filings. However, Bloomberg News suggested the report shows “employers are holding back on dismissals” as the economy in the US remains strong despite a cooling of global markets. Ameriprise Financial senior economist Russell Price said of the report signaled “more good news for the American consumer because it shows their confidence in labor market improvement is well-placed. Despite all the noise in the economy today, we are continuing to make good progress on the employment front.” The weekly numbers were in line with a Bloomberg survey of 47 economists which projected a range of 265,000 to 290,000 filings for the week. Reuters notes the unemployment claims filing data was the best weekly result since July 18, when claims were at their lowest level since 1973. September 12 results were the 28th consecutive week that unemployment claims have been under 300,000, typically considered the level necessary for a growing labor market. The decline suggests the labor market is continuing to tighten, as there are also a record number of job vacancies, and unemployment across the US is at its lowest level in 7 1/2 years, at 5.1%.

What This Means For Small Businesses

Falling US initial jobless claims mean the US job market is continuing its positive momentum. This is mixed news for small businesses across the US – on the one hand, a rise in employment leaves consumers with extra money to spend in their communities. However, small businesses in those communities are likely to see the tightening labor market as a signal that they might have increasing difficulty finding qualified workers to fill vacant jobs or to add new jobs.

Additional Reading

NFIB previously noted declines in US unemployment filings.

Note: this article is intended to keep small business owners up on the latest news. It does not necessarily represent the policy stances of NFIB.

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