Well, labour market numbers in the US are certainly improving this month. Remember, a number more like 350,000 new signings over a sustained period is what is required for stable jobs growth. But the market is picking up steam. Let's hope it stays that way. And remember, there are any number of 'hiccups' out there just waiting to hit. Ricardo Caballero describes the US economy as 'a coiled spring, just waiting to rebound'. That is hardly the espression I would use.
The number of Americans filing initial applications for unemployment benefits last week fell to the lowest in eight months, adding to signs the labor market may be starting to rebound, a government report showed. First-time jobless claims fell to 384,000 during the week ended Saturday from a revised 388,000 a week earlier, the Labor Department said in Washington. The four-week moving average, a less volatile measure, declined to 390,750 from 395,000. "The labor market is truly healing,'' said Anthony Chan, chief economist of Banc One Investment Advisors in Columbus, Ohio, before the report. ``Of course, healing doesn't mean it's flying, but it tells us for the rest of this year we are going to be seeing a more positive trend in payrolls.'' Companies including International Business Machines Corp. and Pfizer Inc. have announced plans to hire, suggesting the economy may start adding jobs after losing 2.6 million since President George W. Bush took office in January 2001. The economy generated 57,000 non-farm jobs in September, the first increase since January, the government reported earlier this month. The unemployment rate held at 6.1 percent. Economists had estimated claims last week rose to 385,000, based on the median of 46 projections in a Bloomberg News survey, from the originally reported 382,000. Last week was the third in the past four for claims to fall below 400,000, which some economists say is the dividing point between labor market expansion and contraction. Initial filings haven't been as low since 378,000 in the week ended Feb. 8. The number of people continuing to collect state unemployment insurance jumped by 58,000 to 3.674 million in the week ended Oct. 4.