US jobless claims hit lowest level since February; productivity strongest in years

  • Initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell 13,000 to 216,000 in the week ended Sept. 2 from a revised 229,000 in the prior week, the Labor Department said on Thursday. That was the lowest since the same level was touched in the week ended Feb. 11 and it marked the fourth straight weekly decline.
  • Nonfarm productivity – measuring hourly output per worker – increased at a 3.5% annualized rate in the period from April through June – the highest since the third quarter of 2020 – versus a -1.2% reading in the first three months of the year. Second-quarter productivity had initially been estimated at 3.7%.