Over the past few weeks, the likelihood of a December rate hike by the Federal Reserve Bank has grown substantially. Both economic data and hints from a number of Federal Reserve policymakers now point towards a December rate hike and now on Wall Street 70% of investors polled believe a rate hike in December is possible. So let us take a look at the data and what Fed officials are saying that is making investors believe a hike is coming.
One of the most compelling data points is the October jobs number. Expected to come in at 185,000, but blew that figure out of the water when actually coming in at 271,000. The unemployment rate fell to 5%, from 5.1% and average hourly earnings rose 0.4% for the month. Furthermore, the increase in pay on a year-over-year basis was 2.5%, the highest increase the jobs market has seen since July 2009. Continue reading "Fed Watch: December Rate Hike Likely Based on Fed Official's Language"→
The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell 5,000 to a seasonally adjusted 343,000 last week, a sign that layoffs remain low and companies are adding a modest number of jobs.
The four-week average, a less volatile figure, dipped just 750 to 345,500, the Labor Department said Wednesday. The average has fallen 9 percent in the past year.
Weekly applications for unemployment benefits are a proxy for layoffs. Since March, they have fluctuated roughly between 340,000 and 360,000, a level consistent with steady hiring.
On Friday, the government will issue its June jobs report. Economists forecast that it will show employers added 165,000 jobs, slightly below the 175,000 gain in May. The unemployment rate likely ticked down to 7.5 percent from 7.6 percent. The economy has added an average of about 175,000 jobs per month for the last two years. Continue reading "U.S. unemployment benefit applications fall"→
The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits jumped by 16,000 last week, the second straight weekly increase. But the longer-term trend in layoffs remained consistent with an improved job market.
Applications increased to a seasonally adjusted 357,000 for the week ending March 23, the Labor Department said Thursday. That's up from 341,000 the previous week, which was revised slightly higher.
The four-week average, a less volatile measure, rose 2,250 to 343,000. Even with the gain, the average is only slightly higher than the previous week's five-year low of 340,750. Economists pay closer attention to the four-week average because it smooths out week-to-week fluctuations. Continue reading "U.S. jobless claims jump 16,000 to 357,000"→
The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment aid barely changed last week, while the average over the past month fell to a fresh five-year low. The decline in layoffs is helping strengthen the job market.
Weekly unemployment benefit applications rose just 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 336,000, the Labor Department said Thursday.
Over the past four weeks, applications have dropped by 7,500 to 339,750. That's the lowest since February 2008, just three months into the recession.
Economists pay close attention to the four-week average because it can smooth out week to week fluctuations. The steady decline in unemployment claims signals that companies are laying off fewer workers. That suggests many aren't worried about economic conditions in the near future. Continue reading "Average for U.S. jobless claims at fresh 5-year low"→