The number of new applications for USA jobless benefits rose modestly last week and a gauge of the trend in claims fell, pointing to ongoing tightening in the labor market that could push the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates.
The U.S. Labor Department reported Thursday that jobless claims rose last week, exceeding initial forecasts, but still remaining near decade lows.
Employers are retaining staff amid solid domestic demand, one reason why claims have been hovering near historically low levels even as overseas markets languish. The previous week, claims stood at an unrevised level of 267,000.
This is the lowest level in nearly two months and the total number of people receiving benefits was the smallest in 15 years, according to Bloomberg. Labor-market conditions are pretty tight.
Claims were estimated for Nevada last week and otherwise there was nothing unusual in the data, according to the Labor Department. But employers added only 173,000 jobs in August, the weakest monthly gain since March.
The four-week moving average of claims, a closely followed trend measure because it irons out week-to-week volatility, dropped 1,000 to 270,750, not far above a 15-year low. This report comes with a one-week lag but was down by 53,000 to 2,191,000 in the week of September 19.
Although that’s the highest of new claims in a month, the weekly average in 2015 is now the lowest since the early 1970s. Meanwhile, large companies are not expected to announce significant layoffs anytime soon, and many firms actually complain about an inability to find suitably skilled workers to fill open positions, the publication said.
Analysts expect the Labour Department to report Friday that the U.S. economy added 205,000 jobs in September and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.1 per cent, a seven-year low.