U.S. Jobless Claims Up, But Labor Market Still Strong

On Thursday, the U.S. Labor Department reported that weekly jobless claims jumped by 21,000 to 211,000, up from the previous week’s unrevised estimate of 190,000 claims. The department said initial jobless claims rose to 211,000 last week, and analysts had expected only a small uptick to 195,000.

This week, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 192,000, a decrease of 20,000 from the previous week’s revised level, according to the Department of Labor. For the week ending on March 4, the number of seasonally adjusted initial claims was 211,000, a jump of 21,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 190,000. The 4-week moving average went up by 4,000 to 197,000, compared to the previously unrevised figure of 193,000.[0]

Continuing jobless claims, representing the number of people already receiving unemployment benefits, were at s 1.72 million during the week ending Feb. 25, rising by 69,000 from the previous week’s revised level.[1] The seasonally adjusted rate of insured unemployment for the week ending February 25th was 1.2%, a 0.1% rise from the unrevised rate of the previous week.[0]

At the December meeting of the central bank, the officials projected that unemployment would increase to 4.5% by the end of 2021, which is up from the current 3.5%. It is anticipated by Federal policymakers that the unemployment rate will experience a considerable boost to 4.6 percent by the end of 2020, a rate that is typically seen during times of recession.

Applications for US unemployment benefits surged to the highest level since December last week, with increases seen in California and New York indicating a weakening in the labor market which is still relatively robust.[2]

Overall, these figures indicate a slight uptick in jobless claims in the U.S. but no sign of rising layoffs as of yet.[3] This is a positive sign for the labor market and indicates that the U.S. economy is still strong.

0. “Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims” Forex Factory, 9 Mar. 2023, https://www.forexfactory.com/news/1209787-unemployment-insurance-weekly-claims

1. “U.S. weekly jobless claims drop to 192000, gold price steady” Kitco NEWS, 16 Mar. 2023, https://www.kitco.com/news/2023-03-16/U-S-weekly-jobless-claims-drop-to-192-000-gold-price-steady.html

2. “US Jobless Claims Jump to 211,000, Highest Level Since December” Bloomberg, 9 Mar. 2023, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2023-03-09/us-jobless-claims-jump-to-211-000-highest-level-since-december

3. “Jobless claims tumble to 192,000 and show no sign of rising U.S. layoffs” MarketWatch, 16 Mar. 2023, https://www.marketwatch.com/story/jobless-claims-tumble-to-192-000-and-show-no-sign-of-rising-layoffs-a2a78aa2