Fewer Americans are asking for unemployment benefits. In line with moderate growth in employment, initial jobless claims fell by 9,000 to 346,000. The report seems to confirm Fed chairman Ben Bernanke’s statements last week that downside risks to the labor market were decreasing. Paired with a May increase in both consumer spending, which accounts for 70 percent of U.S. economic activity, and a 0.5 percent boost in average incomes, the news reinforces beliefs that the U.S.’s economic recovery is gaining momentum.
BACK TO WORK