Jobless claims decline and trade deficit recedes

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Imports have declined while U.S. exports rose. Jobless claims also declined over the last month. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

The U.S. Labor Department has just announced some good news about employment. Jobless claims have taken a surprise tumble, as employers are indeed hiring. However, the slow pace of hires indicates that job market recovery will be an ongoing process. To sweeten that good news, imports rose slightly, narrowing the trade deficit further. Stock markets got a boost from the news. A double dip recession may in fact be less likely.

Jobless claims drop over August

Jobless claims, or new filings for unemployment benefits, fell over the last month to the lowest level in two months, according to ABC. There were 27,000 fewer claims filed. The number of jobless claims is seasonally adjusted to 451,000 which beat Department of Labor estimate of 470,000. Private employers hired 67,000 more people compared to August. However, overall employment has technically declined over the last few months, according to Bloomberg, because the Census is complete.

Trade deficit narrows

There was also a reduction in the trade deficit, or the gap between the amount of imported goods and exported goods. It seems more people are willing to buy American. The amount of exported goods rose by 1.8 percent, to $153.3 billion. Most of those goods were machine equipment, computers and aircraft. Imports, on the other hand, dipped by 2.1 percent down to $196.1 billion for August after a 3 percent rise in June, for an overall deficit decline of 14 percent. However, the amount of goods imported from the two largest exporters to the U.S., China and Germany, rose in that period.

Good news and Wall Street gets a boost

The good news of more new hires, fewer people taking unemployment and more goods being shipped by American companies led to a slight climb in the stock markets.The boost was not huge; less than 1 percent for all indexes. This kind of economic activity indicates that recovery is actually taking place, but not as fast as some would like.




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