The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell more than expected last week and compensation accelerated in the third quarter, in the latest signs of tightening labor market conditions.
Thursday’s upbeat data underscored the resilience of the economy and some analysts said the pick-up in wage growth moved the Federal Reserve closer to start raising interest rates.
“The first precondition to higher policy rates is now being achieved,” said Eric Green, chief economist at TD Securities in New York.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 278,000 for the week ended Nov. 1, the Labor Department said. The four-week moving, which irons out week-to-week volatility, hit a 14-1/2 year low.