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Jobless Claims Fall, Lowest Level Since July

joblessThe Federal Reserve looking for healthy signs of a stable workforce in order to give interest rates a bump got some relatively good news when the government said on Thursday that initial jobless claims the period running from Sept 26 to Oct. 3 fell by 13,000 to a seasonally adjusted 263,000, marking the lowest level since mid-July. Weekly claims settled below the key 300,000 benchmark more than six months ago and they are hovering near the lowest level since the early 1970s.

The slowdown in hiring has boosted expectations the Fed will wait until early next year to raise interest rates for the first time in a decade.

This comes on the heels of reports last week that the US economy added 142,000 new jobs in September and 136,000 new jobs in August, a sharp deceleration from the 243,000 average from May through July.

Some economists argue that hiring was going to have to slow at some point since that 2011 the economy created more than 11.5 million new jobs.

The Fed meanwhile looking for signs of a robust and consistently growing economy , with jobs and unemployment being a priority has shifted its attention to concerns about global economic and financial developments and the increased downside risk to economic activity worldwide.

For now the Fed seems content  to watch conditions and wait for more data to confirm growth in the economy.

“Many expected those conditions to be met later this year, although several members were concerned about downside risks to the outlook for real activity and inflation,” minutes from the last meeting released Thursday show.

Regardless economists are watching jobless claims to see if they start to rise. Those numbers will play a significant role in whether or not the Fed decides to act by the end of the year to raise interest rates. The job market typically strengthens during the Christmas shopping season as retailers add employees to meet the demand of the Christmas rush. Largely those employees are part-time, but still will help paint a rosier picture of the job market.


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