Shorter unemployment lines encourage economists

A job seeker meets with a recruiter during a job fair in San Francisco, California.

Fewer Americans applied for jobless benefits last week, a potential resumption of the positive trend in employment in this country. Some analysts had discounted the previous two weeks of worrisome jobless claims data due to weather and seasonal factors.

Adolfo Laurenti, deputy chief economist for Mesirow Financial, says the new data is a good indicator that the labor market is back on its moderate growth track.

On the other hand, new data showed Americans were buying fewer big-ticket items like refrigerators and car parts. Orders for those so-called "durable goods" were down during the summer -- and the last few months, including last month, have shown no growth. Laurenti says the data will have a negative impact on economic growth for July, August, and September because, he says, "we really needed to see American businesses investing more in this type of capital equipment."

About the author

Jeff Horwich is the interim host of Marketplace Morning Report and a sometime-Marketplace reporter.

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