Job market continues to tighten as jobless claims fall

June 19, 2015

WASHINGTON (6/19/15)--Jobless claims fell by 12,000 to 267,000 for the week ending June 13, the second straight week of declines, according to the Department of Labor ( June 18).

The four-week moving average also fell to 276,750, its first drop since mid-May.

Overall, the data point to a forthcoming monthly gain for nonfarm payrolls in excess of 200,000, according to Ryan Sweet, Moody’s analyst (

“Initial claims suggest that the job market continues to tighten,” Sweet added. “However, one of the biggest hurdles facing the job market isn’t demand for labor, but the supply of it. The supply of labor is being depressed by a combination of factors, including more retirements, increases in disability, higher school enrollment and discouraged workers.

“Some of these are structural, but we believe it will only limit the rise in the participation rate, rather than driving it lower.”

Continuing claims for unemployment, or those who file for unemployment insurance benefits for at least two consecutive weeks, fell by 50,000 to 2.222 million during the week ending June 6.

“The trend is decent, even though the four-week moving average in continuing claims rose from 2.228 million to 2.331 million in the week (ending) June 6,” Sweet said.