US unemployment claims rise to 240,000, highest since August

WASHINGTON: The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits rose to its highest level since August but remains low by historical standards.
The Labor Department reported Wednesday that 240,000 people filed for unemployment benefits last week, up 17,000 from the previous week. The four-week moving average of claims, which softened the weekly volatility, rose 5,500 to 226,750.
The application for unemployment benefits is a representation of lay off and the current low indicates that American workers enjoy exceptional job security.
But it may not last.
To combat inflation, which hit a four-decade high earlier this year, Federal Reserve has raised its benchmark interest rate six times since March. The housing market has buckled under the pressure of mortgage rates that have more than doubled from a year ago. And many economists expect the United States to slip into a recession next year as higher borrowing costs slow economic activity.
But the job market remains strong. Employers added 261,000 jobs last month and are creating nearly 407,000 jobs a month on average this year. — on track to make 2022 the second-best year to hire (after 2021) on government records since 1940. There are nearly two job openings for every unemployed American. The unemployment rate is 3.7%, slightly above the lowest level in half a century.
New weekly jobless claims earlier this year were extremely low – staying under 200,000 for most of February, March and April. They started to rise in late spring and reached 261,000 by mid-July before trending back down again.
“We expect the number of layoffs to increase as demand declines due to higher interest rates,” said Rubeela Farooqi, chief US economist at High Frequency Economics. labor shortages and will be reluctant to cut their workforce.”
The Labor Department said on Wednesday that 1.55 million people were receiving unemployment benefits for the week ending November 12, up 48,000 from the previous week.


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