US Jobless Claims Rose Above 300k Last Week

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits last week rose to the highest level since September, but the underlying trend remained consistent with a firming labor market.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 21,000 to a seasonally adjusted 313,000 for the week ended Nov. 22, the Labor Department said on Wednesday. It was the first-time since early September that claims broke above the 300,000 threshold.

The four-week moving average of claims, considered a better measure of labor market trends as it irons out week-to-week volatility, remained below 300,000 for an 11th straight week, a sign that the jobs market was improving.

 
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims falling to 288,000 last week. A Labor Department analyst said there were no special factors influencing last week’s claims data.

The claims report showed the number of people still receiving benefits after an initial week of aid fell 17,000 to 2.32 million in the week ended Nov. 15, the lowest since December 2000.

The so-called continuing claims covered the household survey week from which the unemployment rate for November will be calculated. Continuing claims fell 71,000 between the October and November survey period, suggesting the unemployment rate could fall from a six-year low of 5.8 percent.

via Reuters

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza