(Kitco News) The initial weekly jobless claims dropped by 18,000 to 215,000 in the week to Saturday, slightly beating market expectations.
Economists’ consensus calls projected initial claims to come in at 226,000 following the revised level of 233,000 reported in the previous week.
The four-week moving average for new claims – often viewed as a more reliable measure of the labor market since it flattens week-to-week volatility – decreased to 230,500. Last week’s four-week moving average was revised up to 236,500, the U.S. Labor Department said on Thursday.
Continuing jobless claims, which represent the number of people already receiving benefits, were at 1,476,000 during the week ending February 19, an increase of 2,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 1,474,000. The four-week moving average dropped to 1,539,500. “This is the lowest level for this average since April 4, 1970, when it was 1,516,000,” the report said.
Traders monitor jobs data closely to gauge how it might impact the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy.
Gold price lost its early-morning gains following the data release. April Comex gold futures edged down and were last at $1,932.90, up 0.55% on the day.
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