US Unemployment Claims Decreased Slightly to 238,000 But Remain Elevated

US Unemployment Claims Decreased Slightly to 238,000 But Remain Elevated
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The num¬≠ber of Amer¬≠i¬≠cans fil¬≠ing for unem¬≠ploy¬≠ment ben¬≠e¬≠fits decreased slight¬≠ly last week but remains near a 10-month high, poten¬≠tial¬≠ly sig¬≠nal¬≠ing a slow¬≠ing US job mar¬≠ket accord¬≠ing to the lat¬≠est gov¬≠ern¬≠ment data.

The Labor Depart­ment report­ed that ini­tial job­less claims declined by 5,000 to 238,000 for the week end­ing June 17th. While this was low­er than the pre­vi­ous week’s revised lev­el of 243,000, it marked the sev­enth con­sec­u­tive week­ly increase and match­es the high­est lev­el since last September.

The 4‚ÄĎweek mov¬≠ing aver¬≠age, which helps account for volatil¬≠i¬≠ty in the week¬≠ly data, rose by 5,500 to 232,750. This smooths out the ups and downs but con¬≠firms the trend of ris¬≠ing claims over the past two months.

Despite the recent rise, unem­ploy­ment insur­ance fil­ings are still rel­a­tive­ly low by his­tor­i­cal stan­dards, indi­cat­ing that wide­spread lay­offs have not occurred. How­ev­er, econ­o­mists say the grad­ual increase mer­its mon­i­tor­ing for signs of dete­ri­o­rat­ing demand in the strong labor market.

Near¬≠ly 1.83 mil¬≠lion peo¬≠ple were col¬≠lect¬≠ing reg¬≠u¬≠lar state unem¬≠ploy¬≠ment ben¬≠e¬≠fits for the week end¬≠ing June 3rd, up 15,000 from the pri¬≠or week.

While the US econ­o­my and hir­ing has proved resilient this year in the face of aggres­sive Fed­er­al Reserve inter­est rate hikes, there are signs eco­nom­ic growth is slow­ing in response to high­er bor­row­ing costs. Retail sales bare­ly rose in May and the Fed has acknowl­edged it may need to cool the over­heat­ed jobs mar­ket, sug­gest­ing job cuts could rise in the months ahead.

The lat¬≠est jobs data pro¬≠vides an impor¬≠tant sig¬≠nal on the cur¬≠rent state of the US labor mar¬≠ket as reces¬≠sion risks increase amid high infla¬≠tion and tight¬≠en¬≠ing mon¬≠e¬≠tary pol¬≠i¬≠cy. Fur¬≠ther increas¬≠es in unem¬≠ploy¬≠ment claims would cor¬≠rob¬≠o¬≠rate views that an eco¬≠nom¬≠ic down¬≠turn may be tak¬≠ing hold.

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