Last week, claims for unemployment benefit insurance in the United States increased more than expected, indicating a blip in an otherwise strong and improving labour market. Initial jobless claims rose up 14,000 to 202,000 during the week ending March 26, according to Labor Department figures released on Thursday. According to a Bloomberg poll of analysts, the median forecast was for 196,000 requests.
During the week ending March 19, outstanding claims for state assistance dropped to 1.3 million. The increase in requests is probably due to the erratic method used for statistics week to week, as firms scramble to keep employees and recruit new employees. Applications have been drifting down for the majority of the year, coupled with reducing Covid-19 instances, and the conjunction of depleting reserves and decades-high prices is increasing the financial motivation to work.
The figures come ahead of the government’s jobs statement on Friday, which is expected to indicate that the US added around half a million jobs during March and the jobless rate dropped to 3.7%. Thus according ADP Research Institute, U.S. employers gained 455,000 positions this month, as shown in a separate data released on Wednesday. A separate study released on Thursday indicated that inflation-adjusted household expenditure per capita fell in February, implying that the sharpest price hikes in four decades are dampening demand.
Last week, initial claims jumped to 195,460 on an absolute basis. The states with the highest growth in unadjusted applications were California, Michigan, and Ohio.
Earlier, in mid-March, fresh unemployment benefit claims decreased to a 2.5-month low of 214,000, indicating that labour demand remains high as the US economy picks up from the outbreak. Moreover, the Labor Department reported Thursday that initial unemployment claims fell by 15,000 from a projected 229,000 the previous week.
In the seven days ending March 12, analysts surveyed by the Wall Street Journal expected first unemployment claims to number 220,000, seasonally adjusted.