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US jobless numbers – better but not great

Thursday, July 09, 2020

The number of individuals in the US who filed for unemployment insurance for the first time in the last week was 1.31 million, compared to 1.43 million a week ago. Jobless claims peaked at 6.65 million in early April, so while the trend is sharply down from then, it does not present comfortable reading for the US economy and the Trump administration. Admittedly getting a handle on the current situation in the jobs market is tricky when everything is so fluid at the moment – however this print came in slightly better than expected. That being said, there seems to be a now persistent level of unemployed within the US workforce and this can only be attributed to the far ranging effects of Covid-19. As the case numbers continue to peak ever higher each day in the US, companies are more unlikely to rush back to re-employ urgently. Markets will invariably focus more on the hard data rather than any government largesse, which can only go so far and so long and this hard data is not looking as good as valuation levels might suggest.

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