Job market improving as jobless claims drop

Mitchell Hartman Oct 11, 2012
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Job market improving as jobless claims drop

Mitchell Hartman Oct 11, 2012
HTML EMBED:
COPY

The Labor Department reports a significant fall in unemployment claims that could indicate last week’s surprisingly upbeat jobs report might have staying power.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell 30,000 last week to a level not seen since early 2008. The four-week moving average was also down.

Add that to last week’s report that the unemployment rate fell to 7.8 percent in September—around the rate when President Obama took office—and economist John Canally at LPL Financial is modestly impressed. “In general, the labor market has picked up some steam here in the fall,” says Canally. “I don’t think it’s going to be enough to satisfy the Fed.”

The Federal Reserve has pledged to keep borrowing cheap through low interest rates and asset purchases, to try to accelerate hiring. Meanwhile, Canally says other parts of the economy are starting to run on more cylinders.

“Stocks are near their all-time highs, the housing market has begun to recover a bit, and the job market is a little better than it was,” says Canally. “I think you throw all those things together, and people do feel a little more wealthy, a little more able to go out and splurge.”

Exhibit A: Winnebago says orders for its RVs are back up to pre-recession levels. They cost up to $350,000 . Nice wheels, if you can afford them.

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.