Applications for unemployment benefits have risen in the United States

Applications for unemployment benefits have risen in the United States

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits rose last week, but remains low by historical standards, even with a sharp hike in interest rates by the Federal Reserve aimed at cooling the economy and reducing persistent inflation.


What you need to know

  • The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits rose last week, but remains low by historical standards, even as the Federal Reserve raises interest rates aimed at cooling the economy and reducing persistent inflation.
  • The Labor Department reported Thursday that unemployment claims rose by 5,000 to 217,000 for the week ending October 28.
  • Unemployment claims claims are viewed as representing the number of layoffs in a given week
  • Overall, 1.82 million people were receiving unemployment benefits in the week ending October 21, about 35,000 more than the previous week.


The Labor Department reported Thursday that unemployment claims rose by 5,000 to 217,000 for the week ending October 28.

Unemployment claims claims are viewed as representing the number of layoffs in a given week.

The four-week moving average of claims, which smooths out some of the ups and downs from week to week, rose 2,000 to 210,000.

Overall, 1.82 million people were receiving unemployment benefits in the week ending October 21, about 35,000 more than the previous week and the most since April.

The analyst notes that these “continuing claims” continue to rise because many who are already unemployed may now have more difficulty finding new work.

However, the US labor market continues to show resilience amid the Federal Reserve’s efforts to lower inflation to its 2% target.

Although Fed officials chose to leave the benchmark interest rate on Wednesday, the US central bank has raised interest rates 11 times since March 2022 in an attempt to tame inflation, which reached its highest level in four decades in 2022. Cooling the Economy and Market work, which in turn will slow down price growth.

In September, consumer prices rose 3.7% from a year earlier, down from a peak of 9.1% in June last year. However, US economic growth rose in the July-September quarter on the back of strong consumer spending.

The Labor Department reported earlier this week that employers posted 9.6 million job openings in September, up from 9.5 million in August. The number of layoffs fell to 1.5 million from 1.7 million.

The US economy added 336,000 jobs in September, bringing the average gain for each of the past three months to a solid 266,000 jobs. Although the unemployment rate rose from 3.5% to 3.8%, this is mostly because about 736,000 people have resumed their search for work. Only people who are actively looking for work are considered unemployed.

The government releases its October jobs report on Friday.

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