A look at unemployment and the Fed

Application for unemployment benefits

TEXT OF INTERVIEW

STEVE CHIOTAKIS: News from the Labor Department today. First-time unemployment claims rose last week by 13,000 to top 462,000. But the number of jobless workers continuing to collect benefits fell last week. Lance Pan is Director of Investment Research at Capital Advisors Group. He's with us live from Boston. Good morning, sir.

LANCE PAN: Good morning, Steve.

CHIOTAKIS: So for a while there, it looked like things were improving in the labor market. But then today's report shows this unexpected increase. What's going on?

PAN: As a matter of fact, the market was expecting some of the numbers to turn worse. But this is actually worse than the market expected. We have really looked for more evidence that the economy will weaken further so that the Federal Reserve may act another round of quantitative easing, basically, to pump more money into the economy.

CHIOTAKIS: Pumping money. You're talking about buying assets, right?

PAN: Buying treasuries and perhaps other assets to really provide more liquidity into the system. Because unemployment is one of the Achilles' heals of this economic recovery. The other one being the housing market, obviously. So it's been going on for a while.

CHIOTAKIS: Is that what they're just going to be guided by? Because I know there's not a full unemployment report when the Federal Reserve meets, right? They're meeting at the beginning of next month right after the election.

PAN: That's correct. The Fed will have a whole host of sources at its disposal, but housing data and the jobless claims data will be something that they'll be paying more attention on.

CHIOTAKIS: All right. Lance Pan joining us from Boston. Thank you for your analysis, sir.

PAN: All right.

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