It can’t get a whole lot better in the U.S. job market (or can it?). The employment situation continues blast through expectations. The number of Americans losing their jobs and applying for unemployment benefits each week remained near a 49-year low in mid-October, suggesting no visible deterioration in the U.S. labor market.
Initial jobless claims, on measure of layoffs, dropped by 5,000 to 210,000 in the seven days ended Oct. 13th. While new jobless claims edged up by 2,000 to 211,750, they have been below 220,00 since early July, a remarkable stretch last duplicated almost a half-century ago. The number of people collecting unemployment benefits, meanwhile, fell by 13,000 to 1.64 million. These “continuing” claims touched the lowest level since Aug 1973.
Additionally, Job Openings just hit a record high and the U.S. Unemployment rate has fallen to a 48-year low while hiring remains robust. The demand for labor is so strong it’s pushing up the cost of worker compensation and giving an economic growth cycle that’s now more than nine years old the staying power to become the longest expansion ever.