The Washington Post

U.S. labor market remains resilient


The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployme­nt benefits fell again last week, pointing to sustained labor market strength and adding to financial market fears that the Federal Reserve could keep hiking interest rates.

Those worries were further heightened by another report Thursday from the Labor Department showing labor costs grew much faster than previously estimated in the fourth quarter. The labor market remains tight despite rising risks of a recession, contributi­ng to keeping inflation elevated via solid wage gains.

“The labor market shows no fresh signs of deteriorat­ion with minimal job layoffs despite the news of big tech firings the last several months, and this will harden the resolve of Fed officials to slow economic demand down with higher interest rates,” said Christophe­r Rupkey, chief economist at FWDBONDS in New York.

Initial claims for state unemployme­nt benefits dropped 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 190,000 for the week ended Feb. 25, the Labor Department said. It was the seventh straight week that claims were below 200,000.

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