Jobless Claims in U.S. Rise to Highest in Almost Three Months
(Bloomberg) -- U.S. filings for unemployment benefits rose more than expected last week to the highest in almost three months amid holidays that may have played a role in the increase, Labor Department figures showed Thursday.
Highlights of Jobless Claims (Week Ended March 31)
The timing of this week’s Easter holiday and spring breaks could have influenced the latest increase in claims. Seasonal adjustments tend to be more difficult around holidays, and claims remain near a 45-year low, indicating a persistent shortage of qualified workers is keeping employers reluctant to fire staff.
Weekly applications for jobless benefits have for three years held below 300,000, typically considered consistent with a healthy labor market.
The Labor Department’s monthly employment report, due Friday, is projected to show payroll gains slowed to a still-solid 185,000 in March and the unemployment rate ticked down to 4 percent, which would be a 17-year low. Steady job growth will help to sustain consumer spending, the biggest part of the economy.
- Prior week’s reading was revised to 218,000 from 215,000, erasing what was originally reported as a 45-year low
- Unemployment rate among people eligible for benefits was unchanged at 1.3 percent
- Colorado and Maine had estimated claims last week, according to the Labor Department
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