U.S. factories show signs of trouble; labor market still firm

Galtero Lara
Agosto 22, 2019

-Initial jobless claims were down 12,000 to 209,000 in the week ending August 17, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

The four-week average is considered more reliable as it smooths out sharp fluctuations in the more volatile weekly figures, giving a more accurate picture of the health of the labour market. Economists had expected a smaller drop to 216,000.

The drop in claims bodes well for the August jobs report as the period encompasses the reporting week that the Labor Department surveys for the tally. Still, government data released Wednesday showed payrolls in the year through March will probably be revised down by 501,000, or nearly 42,000 jobs per month.The August payrolls report due September 6 will shed light on whether the latest escalation of the trade war with China has impacted hiring at American businesses.

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While hiring has cooled, the pace of job gains remains well above the roughly 100,000 needed per month to keep up with growth in the working-age population.

At the same time, minutes for last month's Fed policy meeting released on Wednesday suggested policymakers were divided over the cut and did not want to give the appearance that they were planning further rate reductions. Data for the prior week was revised to show 1,000 more applications received than previously reported. The four-week moving average dropped 750 to 1.7 million.

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