US job­less claims up, four-week av­er­age low­est since 2000

The Pak Banker - - BUSINESS -

WASHINGTON: The num­ber of Amer­i­cans fil­ing new ap­pli­ca­tions for un­em­ploy­ment ben­e­fits un­ex­pect­edly rose last week, but the trend con­tin­ued to point to a strength­en­ing la­bor mar­ket.

Ini­tial claims for state un­em­ploy­ment ben­e­fits in­creased 5,000 to a sea­son­ally ad­justed 274,000 for the week ended Aug. 8, the La­bor Depart­ment said on Thurs­day. Claims for the prior week were re­vised to show 1,000 fewer ap­pli­ca­tions re­ceived than pre­vi­ously re­ported. Though claims have risen for three straight weeks, they have re­mained be­low the 300,000 thresh­old, which is as­so­ci­ated with a firm­ing jobs mar­kets, for 23 con­sec­u­tive weeks. Econ­o­mists had forecast claims to be un­changed at 270,000 last week. A La­bor Depart­ment an­a­lyst said there were no spe­cial fac­tors in­flu­enc­ing the data and no states had been es­ti­mated. The four-week mov­ing av­er­age of claims, con­sid­ered a bet­ter mea­sure of la­bor mar­ket trends as it irons out week-to-week volatil­ity, fell 1,750 to 266,250 last week, the low­est since April 2000. Non farm pay­rolls in­creased by a solid 215,000 jobs in July and the un­em­ploy­ment rate held at a seven-year low of 5.3 per­cent - near the 5.0 per­cent to 5.2 per­cent range that most Fed­eral Re­serve of­fi­cials think is con­sis­tent with a steady but low level of in­fla­tion.

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