Unemployment claims fall for the 5th week in a row

The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell again last week to a four-month low, even as the Federal Reserve continues its aggressive interest rate hikes to tame inflation.

Unemployment assistance claims for the week ending Sept. 10 fell 5,000 to 213,000, the Labor Department reported Thursday, the fifth straight weekly drop. This is the least since the end of May.

The first requests generally reflect layoffs. Data for the previous week has been revised to show 4,000 fewer applications filed than previously.

The four-week average of claims, which offsets some of the weekly volatility, fell from 8,000 to 224,000.

The number of Americans receiving traditional unemployment benefits rose by 2,000 for the week ending September 3, to 1.4 million.

Hiring in the United States in 2022 has been remarkably strong, even amid rising interest rates and weak economic growth. The Federal Reserve has been aggressively raising interest rates in an effort to lower inflation, which usually also slows job growth.

Earlier this month, the Labor Department reported that employers added a still-strong 315,000 jobs in August, though less than the average of 487,000 per month over the past year. The jobless rate hit 3.7%, its highest level since February, but for a healthy reason: Hundreds of thousands of people have returned to the labor market, and some haven’t found work right away. , so the number of government unemployed increased. .

The US economy has been mixed this year. Economic growth declined in the first half of 2022, which by some informal definitions signals a recession.

But businesses remain desperate to find workers, posting more than 11 million job openings in July, meaning there are nearly two vacancies for every unemployed American.

Inflation continues to be the biggest obstacle to a healthy US economy. Consumer price inflation has slowed slightly over the past two months, mainly due to falling gasoline prices. But overall, prices for food and other basic necessities remain high enough that the Federal Reserve has indicated it will continue to raise its benchmark interest rate until prices return to normal levels.

Most economists expect the Fed to raise its benchmark borrowing rate by three-quarters of a point when it meets next week.

The Fed has already raised its short-term interest rate four times this year, and Chairman Jerome Powell has said the central bank will likely have to keep interest rates high to slow the economy “for a while” in order to control the worst inflation in 40 years. Powell acknowledged that the increases will hurt American households and businesses, but also said the pain would be worse if inflation stayed at current levels.

New York Post

Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.
Back to top button