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Forget pandemic lows, U.S. Weekly Jobless Claims fall to 52-year low, gold price remains under pressure

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(Kitco News) - Gold prices are under pressure as the labor market sees significant growth as the number of American workers applying for first-time unemployment benefits drops to a 52-year low.

Thursday, the U.S. Labor Department said that weekly jobless claims fell by 43,000 to 184,000, down from the previous week's revised estimate of 227,000 claims.

The latest labor market data significantly beat expectations. According to consensus forecasts, economists were expecting to see jobless claims fall to around 218,000.

"This is the lowest level for initial claims since September 6, 1969, when it was 182,000," the report said.

The gold market is taking the latest labor market data in stride as it faces ongoing selling pressure. February gold futures last traded at $1,777.70 an ounce, down 0.44% on the day.

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The four-week moving average for new claims – often viewed as a more reliable measure of the labor market since it flattens week-to-week volatility – fell to 218,750, down by 21,250 claims from the previous week.

"This is the lowest level for this average since March 7, 2020, when it was 215,250," the report said.

Continuing jobless claims, which represent the number of people already receiving benefits, were at 1.992 million during the week ending Nov. 27, increasing by 38,000 from the previous week's revised level of 1.956 million.

According to some economists, the latest jobless claims numbers will give the Federal Reserve more confidence to quicken the pace to reduce its monthly bond purchases and tighten monetary policy sooner than expected.

The health of the labor market has been a critical metric the U.S. central bank has been watching as it looks to pivot its monetary policies from its current ultra-accommodative stance.

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