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Weekly economic review & outlook Labor market still stressed

November 30, 2020

You Need to Know

Week in review

Layoffs rising with the spike in infections

Initial jobless claims climbed for a second straight week through November 21 as businesses face increased government mandates to curb virus infections.

Sales of new homes remained strong in October

Sales were little changed from September, which were at the fastest pace since 2006, as homebuyer demand continues to be hot this year.

Week Ahead

Forecasts

Strong job growth should continue into November

We expect a gain of 748,000 in nonfarm payrolls, with a modest decrease in the unemployment rate and a bit faster increase in average hourly earnings.

Business surveys expected to pull back slightly

The ISM manufacturing and services indices are likely to slip modestly for November, based on lower readings for regional PMIs and Federal Reserve Bank surveys.

Initial jobless claims for the week ending November 21 surprisingly moved up for a second consecutive week. The 778,000 reported claims were the highest in more than a month while the four-week average climbed for the first time since July. The upward trend for November coincides with a string of renewed restrictions from state and local governments to try to contain the recent spike in COVID cases.

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