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Tag Archives: Unemployment

Analysts Question Taper Timeline Following Jobs Report

Though the national unemployment rate continued to fall in August, disappointing payroll numbers over the last several months have analysts wondering what the latest jobs report might mean for the Federal Reserve's plan to taper its monthly asset purchases. "As it stands now, [the six-month payroll] average isn't much higher than it was a year ago when the Fed felt it necessary to launch QE3," commented Paul Ashworth, chief U.S. economist for the firm.

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Unemployment Rate Dips as August Payrolls Increase 169K

Unemployment

The nation's economy added 169,000 jobs in August as the unemployment rate fell to 7.3 percent, the lowest level since December 2008, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported Friday. Economists had forecast payrolls would grow by 180,000 and that the unemployment rate would remain at July's 7.4 percent.

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Initial Unemployment Claims Sink Further

The Department of Labor reported an estimated 323,000 initial claims for unemployment insurance for the week ending August 31, a drop of 9,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 332,000.

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Consumer Sentiment Drops in August

The Index of Consumer Sentiment, released twice monthly by Thomson Reuters and the University of Michigan, read 82.1 at the end of August, down from 85.1 in July but an improvement over August 2012's 74.3. A preliminary report released mid-month showed the index falling to 80.0. "The August survey indicates that the recent confidence gains have stalled as consumers await decisions on the federal budget and monetary policy," said Richard Curtin, chief economist for Surveys of Consumers.

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Consumer Confidence Ticks Up as Short-Term Outlook Improves

The Conference Board released on Tuesday its Consumer Confidence Index for August, showing a slight upward tick following July's decline. According to the latest update, the index now stands at 81.5, up half a point from July. Lynn Franco, director of economist indicators for the Conference Board, said the increase was "a result of improving short-term expectations." On the other hand, consumer opinions regarding the present economic climate were less charitable.

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Conference Board Economic Index Improves in July

A broad range of economic indicators paints a picture of an improving economy, according to the latest Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) released Thursday. The LEI increased 0.6 percent in July, reaching 96 for the month. An index score of 100 reflects the economic conditions in 2004. "The improvement in the LEI, and pick up in the six-month growth rate, suggest better economic and job growth in the second half of 2013," said Ken Goldstein, a Conference Board economist.

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First-Time Jobless Claims Remain at Pre-Recession Low

Unemployment

First-time claims for unemployment insurance for the week ending August 17 rose 13,000 to 336,000, the Labor Department reported Thursday. Economists expected the number of claims to rise to 330,000 from the 320,000 originally reported for the week ending August 10. The number of filings for that week was bumped up to 323,000.

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Researchers Say Weak Job Growth to Slow Down New Housing

While new housing production is expected to see a healthy rebound later this decade, Fannie Mae's Economic and Strategic Research (ESR) group believes "an anticipated slowdown in workforce expansion suggests more modest prospects for new housing demand and construction than witnessed historically." Using the Census Bureau's new projections for population growth over the coming years, Fannie Mae's team says labor force growth could range from as high as 0.9 percent (under optimistic conditions) to as low as 0.4 percent

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First-Time Jobless Claims At Pre-Recession Levels

First-time claims for unemployment insurance for the week ending August 10 fell to the lowest level since January 2008, the Labor Department reported Thursday. The department said there were 320,000 new claims for unemployment insurance, a drop of 15,000 from the previous week. Economists expected the number of claims to drop to 330,000 from the 333,000 originally reported for the week ending August 3. The number of filings for that week was revised to 335,000.

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