Initial Jobless Claims Fall to 200,000 in Latest Week By

Initial Jobless Claims Fall to 200,000 in Latest Week By

© Reuters

By Noreen Burke — The number of people making initial claims for jobless benefits fell to last week from an upwardly revised 211,000 the previous week the Labor Department reported Thursday, against analysts’ forecasts of 210,000.

The number of those making continuing claims declined to . The previous week’s numbers were also revised down.

The report came after data earlier Thursday showing that the U.S. private sector added just jobs in May, the of the pandemic-era recovery, while the previous month’s figure was revised lower.

The private sector data suggested that demand for labor may be beginning to cool after another report on Wednesday showed that U.S. fell in April, but remained at elevated levels, indicating that wages would continue to rise, contributing to already high inflation.

Markets are looking ahead to Friday’s government nonfarm payrolls report for May on Friday.

Economists are expecting the economy to have created jobs last month, in what would represent the slowest rate of job creation in around a year. Wage growth is expected to remain solid amid a shortage of workers and the unemployment rate is expected to tick down to .

Investors are closely watching economic data for clues as to what it might mean for interest rates with the Federal Reserve in an aggressive rate hiking cycle aimed at curtailing soaring inflation, which is running at the highest in around 40 years.

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