Unemployment claims hit 213,000 after falling for five straight weeks

Unemployment claims hit 213,000 after falling for five straight weeks
Unemployment claims hit 213,000 after falling for five straight weeks

Mainstay Capital Management founder and CEO David Kudla discusses his expectations for the July jobs report and weighs in on the markets in “Mornings with Maria.”

The number of Americans filing unemployment benefits rose slightly last week but remained near a four-month low, a sign that the labor market remains healthy despite an increasingly bleak economic outlook.

Figures released Thursday by the Labor Department show claims for the week ended Sept. 17 rose to 213,000 from the downwardly revised 208,000 recorded a week earlier. This figure is still below the 2019 pre-pandemic average of 218,000 claims.

Continuing claims, or the number of Americans who consecutively receive unemployment assistance, fell to 1.37 million, down 22,000 from the revised level the previous week. A year ago, nearly 11.25 million Americans were receiving unemployment benefits.

The four-week moving average – which dampens volatility – fell to 216,750.

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A man hands out his resume to an employer during the Central Florida Employment Council’s 25th Annual Career Fair at the Central Florida Fairgrounds. (Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images/Getty Images)

For months the labor market has remained one of the few bright spots in the economy, with the August jobs report showing employers hired 315,000 new workers last month.

But hiring is expected to weaken in the coming month as the Federal Reserve raises interest rates at the fastest rate in three decades to rein in searing inflation.

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Policymakers on Wednesday approved a third consecutive 75 basis point interest rate hike and signaled that another hike of that magnitude is on the table in November.

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell told reporters at the press conference following the meeting in Washington that there was no “painless way” to bring inflation under control.

Jerome Powell, Chairman of the US Federal Reserve, arrives to speak at a press conference following a meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee in Washington, DC on Wednesday. (Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg via Getty Images/Getty Images)

Updated forecasts show officials see unemployment rising to 4.4% by the end of next year from a current rate of 3.7%. That’s significantly higher than in June, when policymakers saw the jobless rate climb to 3.7%. Estimates for economic growthfor their part, were reduced to 1.2% in 2023 and 1.7% in 2024.

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“The odds of a soft landing are likely to diminish to the extent policy needs to be more restrictive, or restrictive for longer,” Powell said. “Nevertheless, we are committed to bringing inflation down to 2%. We believe that a failure to restore price stability would result in far greater pain.”

. claims unemployment reach after having decreased for five consecutive weeks

. Unemployment claims hit falling straight weeks

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