US Dollar Holds Steady As 30 Million Jobs Lost in Six Weeks

The US dollar is holding steady against a basket of currencies on Thursday after the federal government released the latest jobs numbers in the economic fallout of the coronavirus. In total, about 30 million Americans have lost their positions in just six weeks, and based on what the Federal Reserve stated on Wednesday, more economic pain is coming in the next couple of months.

According to the Department of Labor, the initial jobless claims reading was 3.839 million for the week ending April 25. This is down from last week’s 4.442 million claims, but the figure is worse than the median estimate of 3.5 million.
Continuing jobless claims surged to 17.992 million, down from 15.818 million in the previous week. The four-week moving average, which eliminates week-to-week volatility, came in at 5.033 million.
On a seasonally adjusted basis, the biggest spikes in jobless claims were situated in California, Florida, Georgia, New York, and Texas. The findings also revealed that layoffs are beginning to spread to industries and sectors that had not been initially affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)’s Employment Cost Index advanced 0.8% in the first quarter as wages grew 0.9% and benefits jumped 0.4%.
In other data, personal income fell 2% in March, down from the 0.6% gain in February. Personal spending cratered 7.5% last month, down from a slight 0.2% boost in the previous month. Both readings were worse than the market forecast of -1.5% and -5%, respectively.
The personal consumption expenditure (PCE) price index fell 0.3% for the first time since September 2019 as the cost of goods tumbled sharply 0.9% and the cost of services was flat.
On Friday, purchasing managers’ index (PMI) readings and construction spending data will be released.
The US Dollar Index, which measures the greenback against a basket of currencies, was relatively flat after the latest jobless numbers. The index dipped 0.02% to 99.54, from an opening of 99.48.
The USD/CAD currency pair rose 0.22% to 1.3909, from an opening of 1.3882, at 14:19 GMT on Thursday. The EUR/USD was flat at 1.0874.

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