US Labor Market Remains Tight as Weekly Jobless Claims Decline Further
U.S. Treasury yields are soaring again on Thursday and U.S. equity market futures are at their lows of the session following stronger-than-expected economic data that likely cemented the chances of a more aggressive Federal Reserve.
Applications for Jobless Claims Fall for 3rd Straight Week
The number of people applying for unemployment benefits in the U.S. fell for a third straight week, highlighting a stubbornly strong labor market. This is potentially bad news in the fight against inflation by the Fed, which has been ratcheting up its benchmark interest rate for a year in an effort to cool the economy, loosen the labor market and tame inflation.
Applications for jobless claims in the U.S. for the week-ending February 25 fell to 190,000 from 192,000 the previous week, the Labor Department said Thursday. It was also the seventh straight week claims were under 200,000.
The four-week moving average of claims, which evens out some of the weekly volatility, rose by 1,750 to 193,000, remaining below the benchmark 200,000 threshold for the sixth straight week.
Productivity Increases 1.7% in Q4 2022; Unit Labor Costs Increase 3.2% (Annual Rates)
Productivity increased 1.7 percent in the nonfarm business sector in the fourth quarter of 2022; Unit labor costs increased 3.2 percent (seasonally adjusted annual rates). In manufacturing, productivity decreased 2.7 percent and unit labor costs increased 7.7 percent.