Initial jobless claims fell 26k from 345k to 319k in the week ending May 3rd. The four-week average, however, rose from 320k to 325k.
Initial jobless claims with 4-week moving average Bottom line: Against the backdrop of last Friday's outsized rise in nonfarm payrolls, there is plenty of reason for an improved assessment of labor market conditions heading into the second quarter. Of course, there are also plenty of reasons to be pessimistic as well. Hiring, while positive, has been neither sufficient to translate into a rise in labor participation nor wage growth. Please see this week's edition of the Economic Insight for further analysis on stagnant wages
Yesterday, in her prepared testimony for the Joint Economic Committee of Congress, Chairmen Yellen reiterated the economy's need for, "A high degree of monetary accommodation," given the insufficient recovery in the labor market.
Despite being five years after the recession, the Chairman believes the economy still requires a strong level of stimulus because both the Fed's goal of full employment and stable prices remain yet unattained.
Also yesterday, consumer credit rose $17.5bn in March, the most in ten months, after a $13bn rise in February.
-Lindsey Piegza Lindsey M. Piegza, Chief Economist (312) 924-0607 firstname.lastname@example.org; mysterneagee.com