The number of people filing for U.S. unemployment claims declined last week by 1,000.
According to a Labor Department report, jobless claims fell to 267,000 in the week ended May 28 from 268,000 in the previous week.
“It seems there’s a cautious optimism,” said Brett Ryan, U.S. economist at Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. in New York. For the Fed, “it’s a dual mandate, but the labor market leads inflation. The direction of the labor market is a No. 1 priority.”
On a four-week average, unemployment claims declined to 276,750 from 278,500 in the previous week. Making this week, 65 consecutive weeks that filings have been below 300,000, the longest stretch since 1973 — a level economists say is consistent with an improvement in the labour market.
However, the number of people continuing to receive unemployment claims rose by 12,000 to 2.17 million in the week ended May 21. While the unemployment rate among people eligible for benefits held at 1.6 percent, the same place it has been since mid-February.
According to a Bloomberg report on June 1, investors have started pricing in over 20 percent probability that Fed will raise rates in June, while there is a 53 percent likelihood of a rate hike in July.