Jobless claims fall, but so does manufacturing

November 27, 2013

Another hopeful sign for the job market: new jobless claims fell by 10,000 jobs to 316,000, according to Department of Labor data released today. Reuters’ Lucia Mukitani notes that, “the four-week moving average for new claims, which irons out week-to-week volatility, slipped 7,500 to 331,750.”

Here’s the long-term trend. While jobless claims continue to fall, the labor force is also steadily shrinking:

Here’s today’s durable goods orders report, in chart form. The AP suggests that businesses could have held off on ordering machinery during the 16-day government shutdown in October.

Here’s more from Reuters:

It was the second month of declines after orders for these so-called core capital goods fell 1.4 percent in September. Economists polled by Reuters had expected this category to increase 0.6 percent.

The unexpected drop in core capital goods orders suggested some ebbing in the manufacturing sector’s recently found strength. It could also be an indication that a 16-day partial government shutdown last month hurt business confidence.

At the same time, orders for durable goods – items from toasters to aircraft that are meant to last at least three years – fell 2 percent, largely because demand for civilian and defense aircraft tumbled.

Durable goods orders had increased 4.1 percent in September.

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