Weekly US jobless claims are up but still remain low
WASHINGTON (AP), -- U.S. unemployment benefit applications rose last week, but are still at historically low levels. This is due to relatively few layoffs in the economy.
According to the Labor Department, jobless claims increased by 23,000 to 248,000 in the week ended February 12, according to Thursday's report. The previous week, claims were revised upwards to 225,000.
The four-week average of claims, which accounts for weekly volatility, dropped by 10,500 to 233,250. After rising for five consecutive weeks, it fell again this week to 243,250. This was after the coronavirus omicron spread and disrupted many businesses in the U.S.
The week ended February 5, with less than 1.6million Americans receiving jobless assistance. This is a drop of around 26,000 over the previous week.
The pace of layoffs is usually tracked by first-time jobless aid applications. In January, there was a surprise surge in hiring, with 467,000 new jobs added by employers. The Labor Department also raised its estimates for November and December job gains by 709,000. As more people started looking for work, the unemployment rate climbed to 4.4% from 3.9%. However, not all of those who applied were able to find jobs immediately. Employers have been eager to hire, even though the omicron virus spread quickly in this winter. The country's strong recovery after the virus-caused depression of 2020 temporarily was hampered by the winter infection spike. However, employers seem confident in long-term growth.
The massive government spending and the vaccination rollout accelerated the economy's growth, with employers adding 6.4 million jobs last fiscal year. In 2021, the U.S. economy grew 5.7%, which was also the fastest rate of growth since 1984's 7.2% increase. This came after a recession.
Overheated U.S. economies have led to inflation that has not been seen in over 40 years. This led the Federal Reserve (Federal Reserve) to reduce its monetary support for this economy. In March, the Fed indicated that it would start a series interest-rate increases, reverseing policies from the pandemic era that fueled growth and hiring, but also stubborn inflation.