US Weekly Jobless Claims Touch Highest Level Since July

US Weekly Jobless Claims Touch Highest Level Since July

It has been reported that limitation of firings, steady hiring and an unemployment rate at the seven-year low underscore job market has caused the Federal Reserve to lift interest rates last month for the first time since 2006. According to a report released by the US Labour Department, it was reported that applications for claims for unemployment benefit rose 20,000 to a seasonally adjusted 287,000. Bloomberg was calling for a consensus of 270,000 in jobless claims.

The four-week moving average, which helps to smooth weekly volatility, rose by 4,500 to 277,000 last week.

"For now, we think that this latest jump up in claims represents noise in the data rather than a sudden deterioration in the underlying trend", J.P. Morgan Chase economist Daniel Silver said in a note to clients. 

Continuing claims for unemployment insurance increased by 3,000 to 2,198,000 during the week ending December 19. Still, this included the Christmas week, and there are many companies that brought in full-time people on a temporary basis. The unemployment rate is around 5% in November. These data are reported with a one-week lag. Moreover, this is the highest level of jobless claims reported since July, when the number rose to 296,000, for the week ended July 4.

The report said initial jobless claims climbed to 287,000, an increase of 20,000 from the previous week's unrevised level of 267,000. The actual data was more than the projection.

Economists had anticipated a smaller rise to 275,000.