US unemployment rate fell to 5.3%
The US (SPY)(IVV) unemployment rate fell to 5.3%. The unemployment rate in the US fell from the 10% rate in October 2009 to a 5.3% rate currently. The rate represents the percentage of the labor force—aged 16 or older—that’s currently unemployed, but available to search for a job in the last four weeks and actively seeking employment in that period.
“Job gains occurred in professional and business services, health care, retail trade, financial activities, and in transportation and warehousing,” said the report. Professional and business services sector companies like Genworth Financial (GNW) and eBay (EBAY) rose 2.79% and 2.35% on the report. Healthcare firm Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX) also ended the day higher by 4.02% on July 2.
US labor market conditions impact consumers
Consumer sector (XLY) investors anticipate the jobs report because the US labor market conditions have a direct bearing on the US consumer sector’s performance. More jobs mean more money for households. This leads to more consumer spending.
Another report that’s closely watched these investors is the weekly Jobless Claims Report, published by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration.
Jobless claims rose to 281,000
For the week ending June 27, there were 281,000 new claims for unemployment insurance—according to a U.S. Department of Labor report that was released on Thursday, July 2. The figure came in above from the previous week’s claim figure of 271,000.
In the US, applications for unemployment benefits rose by 10,000 for the week ending June 27. The four-week moving average for jobless claims also rose to 274,750.
The mixed jobs report, along with the rise in jobless claims, seemed to weigh down the performance of consumer sector funds. Positive consumer sector indicators that were out this week also failed to strike a positive tone on Wall Street. Let’s take a look.