30- Second Update:  Jobless Claims near 50-year low      

For the week ending October 13th, Initial Jobless Claims, which is the number of Americans losing their job and applying for unemployment benefits, dropped 5,000 to a seasonally-adjusted 210,000, remaining near a 49-year low.  The report also showed the number of people receiving benefits after an initial week of aid fell 13,000 to 1.64 million for the week ending October 6th, the lowest level since 1973.  Furthermore, 5.78 million people were hired last month, balancing out the 5.71 million people who either lost or left their jobs, including 3.6 million who quit. 

Economic Influence:

  • In an effort to curb the risk of high inflation, the U.S. central bank raised rates in September for the third time this year.  Strong labor market conditions and a robust economy have analysts predicting the Federal Reserve will increase interest rates again in December.
  • The 3.6 million who quit their job represent the “quits rate”. The “quits rate” tends to rise when the economy is strong, and workers feel more comfortable leaving one job for another.  Julia Pollak, a labor-market economist at the online employment site ZipRecruiter strengthened that notion by saying, “the higher number of workers who are voluntarily quitting their jobs suggests that they are finding substantially better opportunities elsewhere in the economy.”
  • The demand for labor is pushing up the cost of worker compensation, which reflects higher wages and benefits for employed Americans.