The US jobless claims rose to a 4-week high, outpacing forecasts. However, overall, the labor market remains quite strong. The unemployment claims increased by 6,000 to 229,000 in the week ending March 9, which is above the consensus estimate of economists for 225,000, according to data from the Ministry of Labor. The four-week average, considered to be a better measure for the labor market due to week-to-week volatility, fell to a six-week low of 223,700.
The increase in turnout in recent weeks, albeit modestly, implies that the temporary break in the US government’s work and the slowdown in global growth may affect the economy.
Some analysts even worry that increasing the number of applications may indicate that the labor market is cooling down after several years of serious growth.
Last week, other labor market data showed that job creation in the US has slowed down to the lowest level for more than a year.
The new jobs outside the agricultural sector in February increased by 20,000 on consensus forecasts by analysts to increase by 181,000. This is also the lowest rate of job creation since September 2017 when the country was hit by several big hurricanes.
At the same time, the average hourly wage in the month rose by 3.4% compared to the previous year, while the unemployment rate declined to 3.8%, which is a nearly 50-year low.
The Federal Reserve has signaled that they will not raise interest rates this year until they see inflation accelerating.