Last week, the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits was unchanged which is seems to be the results of a tightening labor market.
U.S. workers filed 245,000 initial claims for state unemployment benefits during the week that ending Dec. 23, according to figures published on Thursday by the Labor Department. The prior week’s data was not revised. Over the past two months, jobless claims have been in the range between 223,000 and 252,000.
Economists expected the claims to drop down to 240,000 in the latest week. Last week had commemorated the 147th straight week in which claims were below a 300,000 threshold, correlated to a strong labor market. This is the longest stint seen since the 1970’s, when the market was significantly smaller.
The labor market is approaching full employment, with the jobless rate at a 17-year low of 4.1 percent. The tightening of the labor market and a strengthening economy supported the Federal Reserve’s decision to increase interest rates for the third time this year in December. The U.S. central bank has predicted three rate increase for the upcoming year.
During November, the economy added 228,000 jobs which much higher than the needed 100,000 jobs per month to maintain with growth of the working-age population.
THE HERALD FINANCE REPORT
Start your workday the right way with the news that matters most.
The Labor Department stated that claims-taking procedures continued out of order in the Virgin Islands months after Hurricanes Irma and Maria battered the islands as well as Puerto Rico.
Last week, the four-week moving average of initial claims, which is a measure of labor market trends as it removes week-to-week volatility, rose 1,750 to 237,750. The claims report also revealed the amount of people receiving benefits after an initial week of aid increased by 7,000 reaching 1.94 million in the week ended Dec. 16. The four-week moving average of the continuing claims dropped 4,250 down to 1.92 million.