November 14, 2016

This Week’s Top Economic Data Points: “Record Levels Of Uncertainty” Among U.S. Small Business Owners

  • According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the number of individuals who filed for federal unemployment benefits for the first time fell to 254,000 for the week that ended November 5 from 265,000 the week before. The four-week moving average of first-time claims rose, however, to 259,750 from 258,000. The number of individuals who continued to file for benefit also increased, to 2.041 million for the week that ended October 29 from 2.023 million the week before. The four-week moving average of continuing claims was at its lowest level since July 2000. The DOL also announced last week that there were 5.5 million jobs open in the United States at the end of September.
  • The National Federation of Independent Business’s Small Business Optimism Index increased 0.8 percentage points in October, to 94.9 from 94.1 in September. Despite the improvement, NFIB CEO Juanita Duggan said, “The data contained in this report shows record levels of uncertainty among small business owners, and it is tied directly to the election … The result is economic inertia, with business owners unwilling to make the business decisions that would jumpstart the economy.”