U.S. Weekly Jobless Claims Reach Nearly Three-Month High
A report released by the Labor Department on Thursday showed first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits climbed by much more than expected in the week ended November 11th.
The Labor Department said initial jobless claims rose to 231,000, an increase of 13,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 218,000.
Economists had expected jobless claims to inch up to 220,000 from the 217,000 originally reported for the previous week.
With the bigger than expected, jobless claims reached their highest level since hitting 232,000 in the week ended August 19th.
“The claims data are consistent with a job market that is cooling enough to keep rate hikes off the table, but too strong to make rate cuts a consideration any time soon,” said Nancy Vanden Houten, Lead U.S. Economist at Oxford Economics.
She added, “The Fed is surely encouraged by recent inflation data but needs to see a further slowdown in the labor market and wage growth to be persuaded that inflation is on a sustainable path back to 2%.”
The report said the less volatile four-week moving average also climbed to 220,250, an increase of 7,750 from the previous week’s revised average of 212,500.
Continuing claims, a reading on the number of people receiving ongoing unemployment assistance, also rose by 32,000 to 1.865 million, reaching the highest level since November 201.
The four-week moving average of continuing claims also advanced to 1,823,250, an increase of 34,500 from the previous week’s revised average of 1,788,750.
“The upturn in continued claims suggests that unemployed individuals are finding it more difficult to find new jobs, which would be consistent with a slower pace of hiring,” said Vanden Houten.
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