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White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow said Thursday that the government's report on jobless claims earlier in the day hints that January's jobs report will be strong.
"It suggests very strongly that the jobs report for January, which will come out the week after next, will be up," Kudlow told Fox News on Thursday. "And it may be up a significant amount. It also suggests – as almost every other data point suggests – that the economy is very strong."
Kudlow referenced the Labor Department's weekly update on the number of people seeking jobless benefits, which the government published Thursday morning. The report showed jobless claims dropped last week to the lowest level since November 1969, with weekly applications for unemployment aid dropping 13,000 to a seasonally adjusted 199,000.
Kudlow, one of President Donald Trump's top economic advisors, argued that the low level of jobless claims foreshadows a robust jobs report from the Labor Department in February. The government will publish the latest nonfarm payrolls and unemployment rate data for the month of January on Feb. 1.
Jobless claims are "a leading indicator of the jobs report and they're a leading indicators of the economy," Kudlow added. "So, this is very important. Any Wall Street economist will tell you how important that number is."
The unemployment rate rose two-tenths of a percentage point to 3.9 percent in December as strong labor market conditions attracted some unemployed people back into the labor force. Job creation ended 2018 on a powerful note, with nonfarm payrolls surging by 312,000.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.