[Ed. – A new service of Team Liberty Unyielding: the BS flag. We’ll be on the watch for convenient pre-election headlines that are just too good to be true, and throw the BS flag on your behalf. Whether the questionable “reporting” about these Obama-friendly developments continues after the election or not will be harder to determine. But we already know from a whistleblower that at least one Obama agency has falsified economic numbers for political purposes. Oh, and yes: the falsified data related to…drumroll… unemployment.]
The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment aid dropped to the lowest level in 14 years last week, the latest sign of a strengthening labor market that could help blunt worries about the impact of weak global growth.
The Labor Department said Thursday that weekly applications for unemployment aid fell 23,000 to a seasonally adjusted 264,000, the lowest level since April 2000. Given that the U.S. population has grown considerably since then, the proportion of the U.S. workforce applying for benefits is even smaller. Applications are a proxy for layoffs.
Analysts cheered the unexpectedly strong data. Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, described the report as “spectacular” and “astonishing.”
“Whether claims can be sustained at such a low level – an all-time low, as a share of payroll employment – is debatable… but this is a clear signal of real strength in the labor market,” he said in a note to clients.
The figures come as concerns about slowing global economic growth have roiled financial markets for the past week. A drop in U.S. retail sales, reported Wednesday, intensified the volatility. The Dow plunged 460 points early Wednesday before recovering, but still closed down 173 points.
Stocks continued falling Thursday, despite the improving data. The Dow was down 108 points in morning trading.