U.S. sees fewest jobless claims since 1973
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U.S. sees fewest jobless claims since 1973

President Donald Trump may not be popular with many in the media, but his claims to be a great job creator are hard to dismiss. Last week, filings for unemployment benefits plunged to their lowest level since March 1973, as disruption from major weather events like hurricanes Harvey and Irma dissipates and American workers get back to their jobs.

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222,000 people claimed for jobless benefits last week (ending October 14). That’s 22,000 down from the previous week, as applications in Florida, Texas, Georgia, and Michigan, plummeted.

It’s likely that Columbus Day, which eradicated a day in which to make a claim, has influenced these figures. Sho Chandra, writing in Bloomberg, speculates that “the larger-than-projected decrease in claims probably reflected difficulty” in adjusting for the holiday. 

It’s also true that the weather events responsible for causing mass displacement in a number of American regions have now calmed. Consequently, these previously weak spots in U.S. employment are showing sharp improvement.

Last week also marked the 137th consecutive week that claims came in below 300,000 – a “magic number” that indicates a strong labour market. This is the longest stretch since 1970, when the labour market was considerably smaller.

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The opinions in this article do not reflect those of Dominion Fund Management Limited, and in the instance of any forward-looking statements, these should not be construed as advice.


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