The U.S. Department of Labor released jobless claims data today, showing the number of individuals who filed for unemployment insurance for the first time during the past week that ended July 23rd.
Data indicated that applications for benefits surprisingly dropped to the lowest level since April, giving optimism that the labor market is picking up.
Jobless claims fell below the key 400,000 level by 24,000 to 398,000, which was much more than economist predictions of 415,000. The prior week’s figures was 418,000.
Although it’s generally viewed as a lagging indicator, the number of unemployed people is an important signal of overall economic health because consumer spending is highly correlated with labor-market conditions.
Following the report, the U.S. Dollar opened with a gap against the Swiss Franc, at 0.8016 at 12:30 GMT jumping to 0.8022 within a minute. Pre-news level was 0.8011.
Dollar also gained against the Yen with USDJPY climbing from 77.73 to 77.85 within an hour of the report.