Weekly Jobless Claims Fall More Than Expected

President Donald Trump gestures to the crowd as he arrives at a campaign rally at Williams Arena in Greenville, N.C., Wednesday, July 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

The number of Americans filing initial claims for unemployment benefits tumbled sharply last week, indicating that the labor market was unshaken by stock market volatility, the inverted yield curve, and concerns the economy is at risk of falling into a recession.

Jobless claims fell 12,000 to a seasonally adjusted 209,000 for the week ended August 17. Economists had expected a smaller drop to 216,000.

The prior week was revised up by 1,000 to 221,000.

Weekly claims can be volatile so economists tend to look at the four-week moving average as a better gauge of the health of the labor market. This edged up by 500 to 214,500.

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