US Unemployment Claims Rose Last Week

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose last week, but remained below levels associated with a healthy labor market.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 7,000 to a seasonally adjusted 284,000 for the week ended Jan. 9, the Labor Department said on Thursday. The prior week’s claims were unrevised.

Still, it was the 45th consecutive week that claims remained below the 300,000 mark, which is associated with strong labor market conditions. That is the longest such stretch since the early 1970s.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims slipping to 275,000 in the latest week. The increase likely reflects volatility rather than a change in labor market conditions, as the data is difficult to adjust during holidays. Claims also tend to increase at the start of each quarter.

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 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