Jobless claims stay below 210,000 for fourth straight week

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The numbers: Initial jobless claims were flat at 209,000 in the week ended Oct. 12, the Labor Department said Thursday.  

Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal had estimated new claims would rise 3,000 to 210,000.

Last week claims rose a revised 4,000 to 209,000. That compared with the initial estimate of an increase of 2,000 to 207,000.

Claims have been below 210,000 for four straight weeks.

Key details: The number of people already collecting jobless benefits in the week ended Oct. 5 rose by 30,000 to 1.72 million. That’s the highest level since August.

Big picture: Jobless claims figures remain at levels consistent with a hot labor market.

What are they saying: “Overall, layoffs remain low and demand for workers remains strong, evident in positive job growth, a low unemployment rate and elevated job openings. Even as the Fed has taken aggressive action to soften labor market conditions, businesses are not shedding workers at a rapid pace,” said Rubeela Farooqi, Chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics.

Market reaction: Stocks
were set to open higher on Thursday. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note
rose to 4.61%.

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