The Department of Labor reported today that seasonally adjusted first-time unemployment claims dropped last week by a heartening 27,000, down to 451,000. Economists had expected the number to fall by only 2,000. The four-week moving average of new claims also fell, dropping 9,250 to 477,750.
The United States trade deficit also fell, decreasing by 14 percent. The narrower trade gap indicates a stronger export market for U.S. companies and should benefit the wider economy.
Overall unemployment remains stubbornly high, however, and in fact ticked up by .1% in August. The private sector added 67,000 jobs during August, but will need to add about 200,000 jobs per month in order to drive down unemployment consistently.Encouraging Numbers in Unemployment, Exports by Harrison Barnes