U.S Jobless Claims Rise to Four-Week High

Filings for U.S. unemployment benefits rose to a four-week high last week, interrupting a run of subdued firings, a Labor Department report showed Thursday.

Key Points

• Jobless claims increased by 14,000 to 257,000 (forecast was 245,000) in the week ended April 22

• Number of people continuing to receive jobless benefits rose by 10,000 to 1.99 million in the week ended April 15 (these data reported with one-week lag)

• Four-week average of claims, a less volatile measure than weekly data, was little changed at 242,250 from 242,750

Big Picture

Even with the increase, unemployment filings remain at a relatively low level and are on par with the 1970s, with employers more focused on adding and retaining workers than on firing them in a tight job market. An unusually late Easter holiday this year might have affected the data in recent weeks.

Other Details

• Prior week’s reading was revised to 243,000 from 244,000

• Unemployment rate among people eligible for benefits remained at 1.4 percent

• Louisiana was the only state with estimated claims last week

• There was nothing unusual in the broader data, according to the Labor Department


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Dean Popplewell

Dean Popplewell

Vice-President of Market Analysis at MarketPulse
Dean Popplewell has nearly two decades of experience trading currencies and fixed income instruments. He has a deep understanding of market fundamentals and the impact of global events on capital markets. He is respected among professional traders for his skilled analysis and career history as global head of trading for firms such as Scotia Capital and BMO Nesbitt Burns. Since joining OANDA in 2006, Dean has played an instrumental role in driving awareness of the forex market as an emerging asset class for retail investors, as well as providing expert counsel to a number of internal teams on how to best serve clients and industry stakeholders.
Dean Popplewell