The numbers: The number of people who applied for unemployment benefits in mid-August fell back toward a post 2008 recession low, suggesting a slower economy has not done much harm to a strong U.S. labor market. Initial jobless claims, a rough way to measure layoffs, declined by 12,000 to 209,000 in the seven days ended Aug. 17, the government said Thursday.
Economists polled by MarketWatch estimated new claims would total a seasonally adjusted 215,000. Read: Trump is already painting the Fed as the scapegoat if the economy tanks What happened: Raw or unadjusted jobless claims fell sharply in California, erasing a large increase in the prior week likely tied to the usual ebb and flow in the state’s economy. New claims also dropped in Florida and Texas. The more stable monthly average of new claims, meanwhile, rose by a scant 500 to 214,500. The four-week average usually gives a more accurate read into labor-market c
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