The US unemployment claims declined beyond expectations last week as Americans in dismal numbers turned up for filing applications to claim their jobless benefits.
The drop in the number of Americans filing new jobless claims suggested the latest sign of tightening labor market conditions in the country.
The Labor Department report, released on Thursday, showed that the initial claims for state unemployment benefits declined 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 278,000 for the week that ended on November 1.
The other data released on Thursday indicated a slow productivity growth in the third quarter as well as compensation steadily rising on the other hand without creating pressures on inflation or weighing on profits.
The four-week moving average of jobless claims, which is considered to be a better indicator of the labor market trends, dropped to its lowest level since April 2000.
John Ryding, chief economist at New York-based RDQ Economics, said, “Companies appear highly unwilling to layoff labor, which speaks not only to the state of the economy but also, perhaps, to the difficulty in hiring replacement workers.”
Several economists had predicted jobless claims declining to 285,000 last week. But below the 300,000 threshold claims for eight straight weeks indicated the encouraging momentum of the employment growth.
Meanwhile, the US dollar strengthened against the yen following the data release and the prices for the US Treasury debt declined.
Meanwhile, the ADB survey on Wednesday showed private payrolls rose 230,000 this month for seven consecutive months of employment gains exceeding 200,000.
The government is likely to release its report for nonfarm payrolls on Friday. The unemployment rate is seen steady at a six-year low of 5.9 percent.