U.S. Jobless Claims Rise to Five-Week High, Exceed Forecast
(Bloomberg) -- Filings for U.S. unemployment benefits unexpectedly increased, rising to a five-week high and adding to signs of potential cooling in the labor market.
Jobless claims rose to 222,000 in the week ended June 8, according to Labor Department figures released Thursday. The four-week average, a less-volatile measure, edged up to 217,750.
- The third-straight increase follows May job growth that missed all estimates. While jobless claims remain near historically low levels, signs of broader economic weakness are starting to appear in indicators from manufacturing to retail sales.
- A separate Labor Department report Thursday showed import prices fell 0.3% in May from the prior month, the first monthly decline this year, as export prices dropped 0.2%. Agricultural export prices declined 5.3% from a year earlier, the most since April 2016, led by a 20.6% decrease in soybean prices.
What Our Economists Say
“Jobless claims tend to be volatile, and while the latest jump could be a signal of deteriorating labor market conditions, it is too early to draw that conclusion...The economy is slowing, but it is still growing above potential and expected to generate enough jobs to tighten the labor market further.”
-- Eliza Winger, associate
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- Economists surveyed by Bloomberg had forecast that claims would drop to 215,000.
- Continuing claims, which are reported with a one-week lag, increased by 2,000 to 1.7 million in the week ended June 1.
- The unemployment rate among people eligible for benefits held at 1.2%.
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