Washington - Filings for US
unemployment benefits rose last week while total benefit rolls dropped
to the lowest in 17 years, indicating the job market remains tight, a
Labour Department report showed on Thursday.
• Jobless claims increased by 10 000 to 244 000 (forecast was 240 000) in the week ended April 15
• The prior week’s reading was unrevised at 234 000
• The number of people continuing to receive jobless benefits
declined by 49 000 to 1.98 million in the week ended April 8 (data
reported with one-week lag); figure is smallest since April 2000
Filings are hovering near a four-decade low as managers hold staff
levels steady or boost them to keep up with an expanding economy.
Analysts will look at the latest claims data for clues to the April
change in payrolls, because last week coincides with the survey week for
the monthly employment report due May.
At the same time, year-to-year variation in the timing of the
Easter holiday may affect the data. Jobless claims have been on a
general downtrend during the expansion and broke below the 300 000 level
in March 2015.
• Four-week average of initial claims, a less-volatile measure than
the weekly figure, decreased to 243 000 from 247 250 in the prior week
• The unemployment rate among people eligible for benefits ticked down to 1.4% from 1.5%.
• Louisiana and Puerto Rico had estimated claims last week
• There was nothing unusual in the broader data, according to the Labour Department.
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