Released on September 17, 2020

US initial jobless claims fell in the week ended Sept. 12 from the prior week, according to seasonally adjusted data released today by the US Department of Labor.

Total initial jobless claims fell to 860,000 for the week, down 33,000 from the previous week’s level, which was revised upward by 9,000.

The four-week moving average of jobless claims — which smooths results — fell, by 61,000 to a level of 912,000 from the previous week’s average, which was revised up by 2,250.

Economists worry that the end of government assistance to unemployed workers that provided an extra $600 a week on top of what they normally would receive in benefits would exacerbate the problems in the jobs market, CNBC reported. However, the pace of claims is continuing to fall, with first-time claims beating Wall Street estimates last week, falling below the 875,000 initial claims level that economists surveyed by Dow Jones had expected.

Separately, Reuters reported Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell believes the US labor market has a long way to go to meet the central bank’s maximum employment goal.

In his most extensive effort to explain how the Fed will measure progress toward a goal prioritized last month under the Fed’s new framework, Powell was clear on Wednesday that he and other policymakers were not focused on any single number, such as the unemployment rate.

“We would like to get back to a strong labor market where wages are moving up, where people can find work, where labor force participation is holding up nicely,” Powell said. “That’s what we’d really love to get back to.”

“Maximum employment is not something that can be reduced to a number the way inflation can,” Powell told a news conference after the Fed announced its commitment to keep interest rates low until they are convinced of the job market’s strength and that inflation is on track to run above the Fed’s 2% goal for some time. “It’s a range of factors,” he said. “We’re not looking at a rule. We’re looking at a judgmental assessment.”

Original author: Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA) | Daily News